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Wake Up To Politics - March 7, 2016

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Monday, March 7, 2016
246 Days Until Election Day 2016I'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

  • Clinton, Sanders Hold Feistiest Debate Yet Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders met for the eighth Democratic presidential debate of this cycle Sunday, trading barbs in a city scarred by contaminated water and government inaction.
  • The debate began agreeably enough, with both candidates echoing each other in calls for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to resign over his handling Flint water crisis, a point made previously by Sanders but never before by Clinton.
  • Sanders: “The governor of this state should understand that his dereliction of duty was irresponsible. He should resign.”
  • Clinton: “The governor should resign or be recalled, and we should support the efforts of citizens attempting to achieve that.”
  • Soon, however, the debate turned acrimonious, with Sanders criticizing Clinton’s support of “disastrous” trade policies, and Clinton responding by pointing out Sanders’ vote against the auto bailout.
  • Clinton: “If everybody had voted the way he did, I believe the auto industry would have collapsed, taking 4 million jobs with it.”
  • Sanders (later): “I am very glad, Anderson, that Secretary Clinton has discovered religion on this issue. But it’s a little bit too late. Secretary Clinton supported virtually every one of these disastrous trade agreements written by corporate America.”
  • At one point in the economy argument, the candidates kept talking over each other, until Sanders rebuked Clinton for attempting to interject.
  • Sanders: “Excuse me, I am talking.”
  • Clinton: “If you’re going to talk, tell the whole story.”
  • Sanders: “You’ll get your turn.”
  • Clinton and Sanders’ disagreements were just economic: they differed over gun control, arguing over a bill granting immunity for gun manufacturers.
  • Clinton: “It also disrupted what was a very promising legal theory to try to get makers to do more to make guns safer, for example, to try to give sellers more accountability for selling guns when they shouldn’t have, so that is an issue that Senator Sanders and I differ on.”
  • Sanders: “If you go to a gun store and you legally purchase a gun and then three days later you go out and you start killing people, is the point of this lawsuit to hold the gun shop owner or the manufacturer of that gun liable? If that is the point I have to tell you I have to disagree.”
  • For the first time in a debate this cycle, undecided voters were allowed to ask questions, a strategy that can sometimes fall flat, but was very effective Sunday. Instead of journalists based in New York or Washington, D.C. asking questions about Flint, CNN allowed real Flint citizens to dos so. Among the questions asked by real voters, the candidates were forced into more personal territory, asked to speak about prayer and religion, and in the majority-black city of Flint, asked to name their own racial blind spots:
  • Clinton: “I am a praying person and if I hadn’t been during the time I was in the White House I would have become one, because it is very hard to imagine living under that kind of pressure without being able to fall back on prayer and my faith.”
  • Sanders: “I am very proud to be Jewish, and being Jewish is so much of what I am…My father’s family was wiped out by Hitler in the Holocaust. I know about what crazy and radical and extremist politics mean.”
  • Clinton: “[By] being a white person in the United States of America, I know that I have never had the experience that so many people…have had. And I think it’s incumbent upon me…to urge white people to think about what it is like to have ‘the talk’ with your kids, scared that your sons or daughters, even, could get in trouble for no good reason whatsoever.”
  • Sanders: “When you're white, you don't know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto. You don't know what it's like to be poor. You don't know what it's like to be hassled when you walk down the street or you get dragged out of a car.”
  • However, by the end of the debate, Clinton and Sanders found some common ground: lampooning the Republicans, who debated it in Detroit last week.
  • Clinton: “You know, we have our differences and we get into vigorous debate about issues. But compare the substance of this debate with what you saw on the Republican stage last week.”
  • Sanders: “We are, if elected president, going to invest a lot of money into mental health, and when you watch these Republican debates you know why we need to invest in mental health.”
  • As Sanders faces a large drought among pledged delegates compared to Clinton’s gargantuan lead, Sunday’s debate turned fierce as he attempted to paint his opponent as too moderate on many issues, in hopes that he could still appeal to the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. Clinton, however, also came prepared, responding to Sanders’ attacks on her record with defense of her positions and equal fire trained on his.
  • Whiteboard Monday The primary whiteboard is updated to include the weekend’s contests in Kansas, Louisiana, Kentucky (GOP), Nebraska (DEM), and Maine.
  • In each whiteboard, states that voted this weekend are outlined in black, and at the bottom, delegates won by each candidate this weekend are in black, added to their previous delegates. On the map, Hillary Clinton is green, Bernie Sanders is brown, Donald Trump is red, Ted Cruz is blue, and Marco Rubio is purple.
  • Today on the Trail Where are the presidential candidates today?
  • Three are in Michigan, ahead of the state’s Tuesday primary. Both Democratic candidates are campaigning in the state today, before they collide paths at a Fox News town hall in Detroit (airing at 6pm Eastern Time).
  • Hillary Clinton is holding a GOTV rally at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit; Bernie Sanders will hold two rallies, one each in Kalamazoo and Dearborn, and a GOTV rally/concert at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, featuring the Detroit band JR JR and FUN’s Nate Ruess.
  • In addition, Republican John Kasich has pegged his hopes on performing well in Michigan, and will hold two town halls today (in Grosse Pointe Woods and Monroe) and speak at a local dinner (in Troy).
  • Also: Marco Rubio will hold two rallies, in Tampa and Sanford, in his home state of Florida, which votes on March 15 (a must-win for Rubio). Finally, Donald Trump will campaign in two states, holding a rally in Madison, Missispii (ahead of the March 8 primary) and one in Concord, North Carolina (the state votes March 15).White House Watch
  • The President’s Schedule President Obama has just one event on his public schedule today, with eyes once again to his legacy (following a victory lap on health care in Milwaukee last week).
  • At 2:30pm, the President will meet with financial regulators at the White House to “receive an update on their progress in implementing Wall Street Reform…[and] their work to make our financial system safer and stronger.” According to White House guidance, the meeting’s attendees will also discuss efforts to “prevent the kinds of recklessness on Wall Street that we saw lead to devastation on Main Street” in the 2008 recession.
  • President Obama is expected to deliver a statement following the meeting.
  • Obamas on Death of Nancy Reagan Former First Lady Nancy Reagan died Sunday at age 94 of congestive heart failure. Reagan, a fierce protector of her husband in his White House years and since, was also known for her “Just Say No” initiative and work on other issues. Reagan, who died at her Los Angeles home, will be buried next to her “Ronnie” at his presidential library in Simi Valley, California.
  • Here is the statement by President and First Lady Obama marking her death: “Nancy Reagan once wrote that nothing could prepare you for living in the White House. She was right, of course. But we had a head start, because we were fortunate to benefit from her proud example, and her warm and generous advice.”
  • “Our former First Lady redefined the role in her time here. Later, in her long goodbye with President Reagan, she became a voice on behalf of millions of families going through the depleting, aching reality of Alzheimer’s, and took on a new role, as advocate, on behalf of treatments that hold the potential and the promise to improve and save lives.”

Capitol Hill News

  • House: Today The lower chamber will meet only in pro forma session, allowing members time to return home and prepare for the November elections.
  • Senate: Today The upper chamber will open for the day at 3pm, with morning business (the period when any senator can speak for 10 minutes each) lasting until 4pm.
  • At that time, the Senate will resume consideration of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), a bill to combat the nation’s opoid epidemic, in the spirit of the late Nancy Reagan (as multiple senators noted in statements Sunday).
  • At 5:30pm, the chamber will hold a cloture vote to end debate on the bill.

Question of the Day

  • Today’s Question Nancy Reagan called her husband “Ronnie”. What was President Reagan’s nickname for Nancy?
  • Email me (wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com) with the correct answer to get your name in tomorrow’s Wake Up.
  • Oscars Answer It has come to my attention that I left a trivia question from last week unanswered. The question, marking Vice President Joe Biden’s introduction of Lady Gaga at the Academy Awards, asked for the only other sitting vice president to speak at an Oscars ceremony.
  • The answer…Charles Curtis (vice president under Hoover), who was a featured speaker at the 4th Academy Awards in November 1931.
  • GREAT JOB…Steve Gitnik, Matt Neufeld, and Rick Isserman.
  • Many respondents also answered former Vice President Al Gore, who accepted an Academy Award for The Inconvenient Truth…at the 2007 ceremony, six years after leaving office. Gore is disqualified, as the question only asked for “sitting” VPs.
  • Honorable mention goes to the Gore answerers: Zucker, Bonnie Mueller, Janice Goodman, Marlee Millman
  • Another answer I got was Ronald Reagan, who did not serve as Vice President, but was featured at an Academy Award ceremony as President – in a filmed segment, as did Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama.
  • Credit to Jim Wilbat for that answer.

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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