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Monday, January 26, 2015
652 Days Until Election Day 2016It's Monday, January 26, 2015, I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
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White House Watch
- The President’s Schedule President and First Lady Obama are in New Dehli, India today, where they arrived Sunday, for a day of ceremonial events. This is President Obama’s second trip to India (the first was in 2010, making him the first U.S. President to visit the country twice, a sign of its emerging importance to American interests).
- In the morning, the Obama will become the first U.S. President to attend the Indian Republic Day celebration, where he will be honored as Chief Guest. First Lady Michelle Obama will participate as well. Republic Day marks the day (January 26, 1950) when India’s democratic Constitution went into effect (the equivalent of America’s Constitution Day, except it is a MUCH bigger deal in India).
- In the afternoon, President Obama will sit down with leaders of the Congress Party, one of the two major Indian political parties (the other being the Indian People’s Party, the party of sitting Prime Minister Narendra Modi) and one of the largest and oldest democratically-operating political parties in the world.
- Later, the Obamas will attend a reception hosted by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.
- Finally, in the evening, President Obama will “participate in a CEO roundtable at the Taj Palace Hotel with Indian Prime Minister Modi and deliver remarks at a U.S.-India business summit,” according to the White House.
- The Obamas will stay the night in New Dehli.
- Biden’s Day Vice President Joe Biden today hosts the first-ever Caribbean Energy Security Summit in Washington, D.C. Biden will host “Caribbean leaders and representatives of the international community” to discuss “ to [promoting] a cleaner and more sustainable energy future in the Caribbean through improved energy governance, greater access to finance, and donor coordination” through “remarks by the Vice President, an energy security roundtable with heads of government, and meetings and events with government officials, representatives from the private sector, and officials from multilateral institutions,” according to the White House.Election Central
- Christie to Launch PAC Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) will announce the formation of his political action committee (PAC) today, a step towards a presidential campaign many believe he will launch in the months ahead.
- “Leadership Matters for America,” the name of the PAC, will allow Christie to begin fundraising, hiring staff and policy aides, and get on early start on polling, ads, and political travel (beginning with trips to Illinois, California, and the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire in the coming weeks).
- A number of presidential candidates already have PACs, a sort of shadow campaign to help them prepare for the real one.
- Today’s 2016 Must-Read Mike Allen for Politico details the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign-in-waiting, and answers the questions of: will she run, when will she announce, staffing, press relations, endorsements, the Bill factor, primary opponents, VP short-list, and more.
- Read “Inside Hillary Clinton’s 2016 plan” by Mike Allen here.
Capitol Hill News
- Status Update: Senate The upper chamber continues consideration of S.1 today, the bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. The deadline for senators to file amendments on the bill is this evening.
- Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will have surgery today due to the New Year’s Day exercise accident that has kept him away from the Senate since the beginning of the 114th Congress.
- Status Update: House The lower chamber focuses on trafficking today, considering the following 11 bills: the Enhancing Services for Runaway and Homeless Victims for Youth Trafficking Act; the Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act of 2015; International Megan’s Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking; the Human Trafficking Prevention Act; the Trafficking Awareness Training for Health Care Act; the Human Trafficking Detection Act; the Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act; the Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act; the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act; the Human Trafficking Prioritization Act; and a bill to improve the response to victims of child sex trafficking.
A column where I review books I recently read
- Fraternity I am often asked why I am so interested in politics. Well, I root my interest in politics back to a fascinating in history, which began with a curiosity about the Presidency. And it’s often hard to put my finger on why I am so interested in the Presidency. Fraternity reminded me of it. It’s not the partisan bickering that comes with the office. It’s the people; it’s the personalities that have always fascinated me.
- Fraternity is journalist Bob Greene’s journey to meet with the living ex-presidents, as told by journalist Bob Greene himself, and his description of the glimpse he received of the Presidency while meeting with five of its occupants. Greene retells the questions he asks each man – the ones that have always fascinated me. Not the policy questions or political inquiries that I spend so much time reporting, but the real questions a 7-year-old asked his dad when they went to a presidential inauguration: about the men, and what it’s like. That 7-year-old is me, and as a 13-year-old still asking those same questions, reading Fraternity asked them for me…and answered them.
- Fraternity brings the members of the “the smallest and most exclusive fraternity in the world” (as Greene calls the former Presidents) back down to Earth. Of the five presidents Greene attempted to meet, all five consented to a chat – a stunning statement in of itself, something that would never happen almost anywhere else in the world. Many of you lived through all or most of their tenures, so you know Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush very well – but not in the way Greene delivers them. The bits of them he introduces to the reader are truly fascinating, as are the men themselves. As Anthony Bergen of the Dead Presidents blog wrote when reviewing Fraternity, “Fraternity brings us closer to these men and does so from a different angle than we’ve ever approached them before.”
- Anyone with the most amateur interest in the office of President of the United States, and then men who have sat in that office, will devour Fraternity: A Journey in Search of Five Presidents.