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Wake Up To Politics - January 26, 2016

To read today's edition of Wake Up To Politics in a PDF format, click here. Continue reading to find the text of the Wake Up in the body of the email!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
6 Days until the Iowa Caucuses
287 Days Until Election Day 2016 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!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com. To learn more about WUTP and subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or like me on Twitter and Facebook. More ways to engage with WUTP at the bottom.    2016 Central

  • Democratic Town Hall in Iowa: Experience vs. Judgement At the last gathering of the three Democratic presidential candidates before Iowa voters go to their caucuses, a clear divide was on display at the CNN Democratic town hall Monday night.
  • At one point, Hillary Clinton spoke about the difficulties of a presidential campaign. “It's hard,” she said. “If it were easy, there wouldn't be any contest. But it’s not easy. There are very different visions, different values, different forces at work, and you have to have somebody who is a proven fighter -- somebody who has taken them on and won, and kept going, and will do that as President.”
  • Those “different visions” were clear Monday night, with Clinton peddling her experience while Sanders claimed better judgement. In that very answer, Clinton referred to her experience being tested (“somebody who has taken them on and won”), a theme she would return to throughout the night.
  • Sanders’ vision, meanwhile, focused more on his judgement, attacking Clinton’s record on a number of progressive issues.
  • “I voted against the war in Iraq ... Hillary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq,” he said. “I led the effort against Wall Street deregulation. See where Hillary Clinton was on this issue.”
  • And then, later: “On day one, I said the Keystone Pipeline was a dumb idea. Why did it take Hillary Clinton a long time before she came into opposition to the Keystone Pipeline? I didn't have to think hard about opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership. It took Hillary Clinton a long time to come on board on that.”
  • Sanders also spoke at length about his health care plan, making clear what would be necessary to fund it. “Yes, we will raise taxes,” Sanders said when asked. “Yes we will.”
  • When a young questioner told Clinton that many of his peers did not trust her, she once again pivoted to her experiences in partisan politics. “They throw all this stuff at me, and I’m still standing,” Clinton said. “I have been on the front lines of change and progress since I was your age. I have taken on the status quo time and time again.”
  • Clinton was also unwilling to concede the higher judgement plane to Sanders, using the term to defend her use of a private email server (“I'm not willing to say it was an error in judgment because nothing I did was wrong.”) and her record on the Iraq War.
  • “I have a much longer history than one vote, which I said was a mistake because of the way that it was done and how the Bush administration handled it. But I think the American public has seen me exercising judgment in a lot of other ways,” Clinton said.”
  • Meanwhile, Martin O’Malley also made a play for Iowa voters to choose a less experienced candidate in the race: “Lift up a new leader, because you can change the course of this presidential race. You can shift this dynamic on caucus night. I know you can, I've seen you do it before,” O’Malley said.
  • But Sanders had the deafening blow against experience as a virtue, invoking a name that is toxic in Democratic circles: former Vice President Dick Cheney. “He had a lot of experience too,” Sanders noted.
  • “Experience is important, but judgment is also important,” he continued, a point Clinton rebutted by dropping a name of her own: President Barack Obama.
  • Despite Clinton’s Iraq War vote (which Sanders derailed as an example of “bad judgement), Obama still appointed her Secretary of State, she said, “because he trusted my judgement”.
  • In the end, only one of the three Democrats will win the Iowa caucuses, but is only one of them right? Perhaps both experience and judgement are required of a President. As Mark Twain said, “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”
  • Invisible Primary Tracking endorsements in the 2016 presidential race:
  • Boston Globe, Concord Monitor à John Kasich The Globe is New England’s largest newspaper, and has wide readership in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire. “His success in that important swing state, and his record as a moderate conservative who is willing to compromise in pursuit of results, suggests he is the Republican hopeful most likely to be successful on the national stage,” a Globe editorial read.
  • The Monitor is the daily newspaper of Concord, New Hampshire’s capital. “For months, each Republican candidate for president has told New Hampshire voters why he or she belongs in the White House. The one with the best record to support his case is John Kasich,” a Monitor editorial read.
  • Norm Coleman à Jeb Bush Coleman is a former Minnesota senator who initially backed Lindsey Graham. “If you’re just being angry — if you want someone to mirror your anger, then, you know, Donald Trump may be your guy. But if you want someone to fix the problem that is making you angry, then Jeb Bush is your guy,” he said on Fox News.
  • Jon Kyl à Marco Rubio Kyl is a former Arizona senator. “I know him. I like him a lot. I came to respect him as a real expert in matters related to our national security. He is on the Intelligence Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee. He knows the subject very well, and he also has very good instincts about what we should do,” he said on Rubio to the Arizona Republic.
  • Today on the Trail Where are the 2016 presidential candidates today?
  • Iowa Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, Hillary Clinton, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum
  • Spotlight Ben Carson will “[pause] from normal campaigning” today, “to put the focus where it should be, on the Lord and what only He can do for our nation,” according to his campaign.
  • Carson will be speaking at Revive714, a “prayer worship experience aimed at sparking a passion for prayer that our nation so desperately needs.”
  • Minnesota Bernie Sanders
  • Spotlight While Sanders heads to Minnesota, a number of celebrity surrogates will pick up the slack in Iowa: Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s (who have created a Sanders-themed ice cream, “Bernie Yearning”), will hold events across the state today, as will actors Jonathan Sadowski, Brendan Hines, and Justin Long, who will hold an event titled “Talk Bernie to Me”.
  • New Hampshire John Kasich

White House Watch

  • The President’s Schedule At 11:15am, President Obama and Vice President Biden will meet with their party’s top Congressional leaders, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), in the Oval Office today.
  • The meeting, to allow the President to “discuss legislative priorities for the coming months” with the leaders and find “areas of cooperation for the year ahead,” comes as House Democrats prepare to decamp to Baltimore for their annual issues retreat. Obama and Biden will address the retreat Wednesday.
  • At the meeting with Pelosi and Reid, Obama is expected to push a number of measures, from criminal justice reform to closing Guantanamo Bay to passing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Question of the Day

  • Monday’s Answer Charles Curtis holds the distinction of being the first Vice President to be of Native American ancestry.
  • GREAT JOB…Jon Sky, Steve Gitnik, Bobby Frauenglas, Janice Goodman, Joe Bookman, and my Social Studies teachers, Dr. Mark Smith!


  • Programming Note Wake Up To Politics is going back to Iowa, this time for a Republican debate!
  • I have been credentialed to attend the Republican debate on Thursday – the last debate before the Iowa caucuses – as a member of the media. As many of you know, I attended a Democratic debate in Des Moines last November, and I’m very excited to go back and enhance my reporting on the campaign for you.
  • In addition to watching the debate with the press, I am also credentialed for the Spin Room – where candidates and their surrogates go after the debate to “spin” what happened in their favor. In November, I got to quuestion Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee and Xavier Beccera (both spinning for Clinton), Sanders press secretary Symone Sanders and campaign manager Jeff Weaver, as well as Martin O’Malley himself.
  • At the Republican debate, there are so many more candidates – meaning more opportunities in the Spin Room. Do you have a burning question for one of the Republican candidates? Send it to me at wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com and I’ll try to ask it in the Spin Room!
  • Just a heads up: since I’ll be in Des Moines and traveling back and forth – sending Wake Ups might be a little difficult later this week, so just bear with me. I’m hoping to still send one Thursday morning, and maybe a special edition from Des Moines later that day. Just bear with me. Your prize: a special on the GOP debate will be coming.
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation, the Political Junkie podcast, and St. Louis Public Radio; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki, and read about Gabe in Politico, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light