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Thursday, May 21, 2015
537 Days Until Election Day 2016It's Thursday, May 21, 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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From the Editor's Desk
- Hi everyone! I have an announcement today: Friday will be the last regular edition of Wake Up To Politics before I leave for Summer Break.
- Don’t be sad, though: on Monday or Tuesday, I will publish the 4th annual Wake Up To Politics Summer Guide – your rundown of what to watch in politics while I’m away.
- And before you know it, August will roll around again, and Wake Up To Politics will return. Friday is my last day of school, and therefore the last day of Wake Up, as per tradition (I run on a school year calendar: first day of school is the first Wake Up of the year, last day of school is the last Wake Up of the year). However, I don’t leave for camp (eight weeks in the Minnesota woods with no Internet or politics) for another four weeks or so. Until then, I will still be periodically tweeting my thoughts on politics and breaking news – follow along @WakeUp2Politics on Twitter.
- State Department Plan: Clinton Emails Not to Be Released Until January 2016 The State Department announced Monday that Hillary Clinton’s emails from her time as Secretary of State will not be released to the public until January 2016, when the department completes its review of the 55,000 pages of documents.
- However, U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras passed down a ruling Tuesday stating that the department must offer a different plan, and disclose the emails “batch-by-batch on a regular basis and updating the court every 60 days on the releases,” according to Politico.
- When it was disclosed in March that Clinton use a private server to send emails as Secretary of State, the emails have become a flashpoint for controversy, and contributed to Clinton’s decreasing trust numbers.
- While making clear that she doesn’t have much say over the release of the emails, Clinton has said she hopes they are made available to the public as soon as possible. “Anything that they might do to expedite that process I heartily support,” Clinton told reporters Tuesday. “I want the American people to learn as much as they can about the work I did with our diplomats and our development experts.”
- “Nobody has a bigger interest in getting them released than I do,” she continued. Clinton also noted, “They’re not mine. The State Department has to go through its process, but as much as they can expedite the process, that’s what I’m asking them to do.”
- With the news that the State Department didn’t plan to release Clinton’s emails for another seven months, potential Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush took the opportunity to take a short at Clinton. Bush set up a contrast with the Democratic candidate, telling reporters Tuesday, “I released 250,000 emails and put them online not just for the press to see, but anyone can go online and see my emails.”
- Bush has set up a website where the public can access all emails he sent as Florida governor; he also plans to publish an e-book of his emails.
- 12 State staffers are working on the department’s 15-step plan for reviewing the Clinton emails, which includes agency or foreign government with connection to an email signing off on its release, and review by a number of oversight panels. In short, this scandal will be dragging on for a while.
- GOP Cattle Call Begins in Oklahoma The Southern Republican Leadership Conference will open in Oklahoma City today. The three-day summit, branding itself as the “unofficial start of the 2016 Republican Presidential campaign,” will include speeches by presidential candidates Dr. Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina; and potential presidential candidates former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; as well as Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, RNC chairman Reince Priebus, RNC co-chair Sharon day, and former UN Ambassador John Bolton, who announced last week he will not seek the White House in 2016.
White House Watch
- The President’s Schedule President Obama will meet today with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi at the White House. They will discuss “a range of issues pertaining to the continued consolidation of Tunisia’s democracy, U.S.-Tunisian security cooperation, and Tunisia’s efforts to advance important economic reforms [as well as] regional developments, including events in Libya and terrorist threats in the region,” according to the White House.
- Also, President Obama will hold a Cabinet meeting this afternoon.
Capitol Hill News
- Rand Paul Holds 10½ Hour Talk-a-Thon on Patriot Act Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul held the Senate floor for about 10½ hours Wednesday, delaying Senate business to talk about his opposition to the PATRIOT Act surveillance legislation, parts of which expire at the end of May.
- Throughout his talk-a-thon, Paul received help from 10 senators (three Republicans and seven Democrats), who asked questions, giving Paul a chance to sit down for a little bit. Interestingly, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Paul, although they are both competing against him for the Republican presidential nomination.
- Paul’s presidential campaign fundraised off of Paul’s talk-a-thon Wednesday (not mentioning Cruz’s and Rubio’s contributions), sending email requests for money and asking supporters to blast #StandWithRand all over social media.
- The Paul campaign is calling Paul’s remarks a “filibuster,” although many Senate watchers are not. The Senate was debating trade legislation Wednesday, not reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act (and may not consider that legislation until after their summer recess). Therefore, eventually, Paul would have had to yield the Senate floor for a trade vote set Thursday afternoon.
- Paul didn’t even change the Senate schedule all that much, although he could have had he continued for another hour. If Paul’s speech had stretched past midnight, it would have pushed back votes on amendments to the trade legislation, and a vote on the PATRIOT Act, meaning Congress may have had to stay in session past its scheduled recess date of Friday.
- In his remarks, Paul focused on the bulk collection of data the PATRIOT Act authorizes the U.S. government to hold.
Q&A with Gabe
- Q: Jennifer Tuchman asks, “I still love reading your newsletter. Thanks for writing it. One burning question, what will the president and Vice President order for lunch at 12:30?”
- A: Gabe answers, Great question Jen…one I’ve often wondered myself! This is referring to President Obama and Vice President Biden’s weekly lunches, which fell on Wednesday last week, when Jen asked this question. Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer. Press are not allowed to ask questions, take photos, or see Obama and Biden during their lunch – and to my knowledge, the White House has never released this information.
- I found, however, three times that the duo has left the White House dining room and held their weekly lunch elsewhere at DC area restaurants; Obama and Biden were not able to escape the press corps those times, so their meals were reported. On these occasions, POTUS and VPOTUS have gone to Ray’s Hell Burger (in May 2009; Obama ordered a medium well cheeseburger with spicy mustard and tater tots; Biden got a swiss cheese burger with jalapeño peppers), Taylor Gourmet (in October 2013; Obama ordered a turkey and provolone sandwich with mustard, Biden got the “9th Street Italian” sandwich, a salami, capicola, prosciutto, and sharp provolone sub), and Shake Shack (in May 2014; Obama ordered a burger and fries, Biden got a cheeseburger, fries, and a milkshake).
- Q: Lyle Hendricks asks, “I don't want to nitpick but I think it is illegal for a ticket to be from the same state...thus Bush and Cheney although both Texan residents ran only because Cheney ‘moved’ back to Wyoming”
- A: Gabe says, First for background – weeks ago, I answered a reader’s question asking who I thought the 2016 vice presidential candidates would be. Lyle’s question comes from my floating New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand as Hillary Clinton’s running mate.
- A presidential ticket can, in fact, be made up of presidential and vice presidential nominees hailing from the same state. The common (and understandable) misconception that it’s prohibited stems from the Habitation Clause of the 12th Amendment, which states, “The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves.”
- This means if a ticket has two candidates from one state, they are allowed to run…but the electors from that state is prohibited from voting for that ticket. This can have varying ranges of impact (although never tested): as Lyle noted, the issue arose in 2000, when the Bush-Cheney win was contested because they were both once residents of Texas (although Cheney had sold his Texas hose, switching his voter registration and driver’s license to Wyoming, and the challenge was dismissed). If the courts had agreed that Bush and Cheney were both still residents of Texas, it would just mean Texas’ electoral votes couldn’t count for them.
- Since the 2000 election was so close, and Texas has the second-most electoral votes of any state, this would have changed the winner of the election. But if they were both from Wyoming (a red state with three electoral votes), Bush-Cheney still would have won the election.
- Either way – presidential nominees generally don’t tap running mates who share their home state because tickets are usually geographically balanced so both candidates appeal to as many regions of the country as possible.
Question of the Day
- Most Scrutinized Politician? Scott Walker on Tuesday made the claim that he was “the most scrutinized politician in America”. So I asked YOU, the Wake Up To Politics readership in Monday’s Wake Up: Is Walker’s claim true? If not, who is the most scrutinized politician in America (current or historic)?
- And you answered. Here are some responses sent in by readers:
- Marlee Millman: “If Scott Walker thinks he is ‘the most scrutinized political in America,’ I don't think he knows what scrutiny is, as far as I'm concerned, Bill Clinton wins hands down with Hilary not far behind.”
- Garrett Cohn: “Mr. Walker should be the most scrutinized politician due to his long history of self-aggrandizement, misstatements, his defined ‘bold’ actions--actually worsened choices and his relationship to Koch's bothers, but I could go on. He should evaporate from the national scene by the GOP primaries. I believe he is second to Gov. [Chris] Christie, currently, as most scrutinized.
- Jeff Melanson: “I don’t think it’s fair to say any candidate or politician is the ‘most’ scrutinized. It really depends on where you are getting your news and the party that of the candidate. For instance, Hillary Clinton can get killed on the radio by hosts like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, as well as other hosts. The same can be said about Republicans and who is reporting on them. At any time though, the most heavily covered (if by scrutinized you mean covered) politician, in my opinion, is the President and recently the Clintons (both Hillary and Bill). But at the same time, Hillary and Bill generally get a pass on some stuff or just refuse to answer. President doesn’t get that option. HE can just dodge the bullet by sending a representative to talk to the press.”
- Jim Wilbat: “The two most scrutinized politicians in my opinion, were Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon. Bill Clinton prior to him being elected for president and during Lewinsky's scandal. Richard Nixon during his Watergate scandal.”
- Rick Isserman: “I agree with [political science professor]Larry Sabato who examined the life and death of President John F. Kennedy. By far the most scrutinized politician of our era.”
- Marilyn Schapiro: “I would say that among politicians in my life time (since 1950), Richard Nixon (scrutinized in retrospect) and currently, Hillary Clinton are the most scrutinized. HRC especially because she has been in the public eye such a long time. JFK also has come in for a lot of retrospective scrutiny and new tidbits of scandal, etc. are still turning up today. Nixon offers perhaps the greatest psychological puzzle for observers.”
- Gail Smith: “Someone alive today: Bill Clinton. Throughout history, even after his death: George Washington”
- S. Greenberg: “Ha! Scott Walker can't get anything right (look at Wisconsin’s economy). I'm not her biggest fan, but Hillary Clinton has had everything she has done scrutinized for decades! Her business dealings in Arkansas were investigated while she was first lady and it has never stopped, because then she actually got into politics herself.”
- Joe Bookman: “If not, who’s really the most scrutinized American politician, current or historic? Scott Walker flatters himself. He's scary but media scrutiny is not his problem. Historically, more has been analyzed about Abraham Lincoln than anyone else. Currently, it has to be Hillary. Scrutiny is not necessarily good or bad.”