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Monday, May 4, 2015
554 Days Until Election Day 2016It's Monday, May 4, 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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- Race to 45: Carson, Fiorina to Announce Presidential Bids Today The Republican presidential field will grow to five today as retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and ex-technology CEO Carly Fiorina announce White House bids.
- Both Carson and Fiorina are political newcomers, and long-shots to be the 45th President of the United States (or even the GOP nominee), as well as paradigm-breaking candidates: Carson is the first African-American to enter the post-Obama race for President, and Fiorina is the first woman to enter the GOP side of the race.
- Carson will announce his campaign at 10:30 AM at Detroit’s Music Hall in his Michigan hometown, before an expected 2,000-strong crowd. His plan had been to go straight to Des Moines, Iowa for a rally after his announcement, but Carson will instead be flying to Dallas to visit his mother – who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and is dying (which Carson got news of Sunday).
- Fiorina’s announcement will be online, and is also expected to come today. Afterwards, she will set out on a post-announcement tour that will take her to New York, Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, and will also include the Tuesday release of Fiorina’s second memoir, “Rising to the Challenge”.
- The two entrants to the field are expected to use their newcomer status in their favor, and Carson in particular. He will likely play up his attractive story, which has inspired young African-Americans for decades: becoming the youngest major division director in John Hopkins Hospital history at the age of 33, becoming the first person to successfully separate conjoined twins, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and all before he shot into political fame during a 2013 speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, which Carson used to deliver a sharp critique of President Barack Obama…who was sitting just feet away.
- Fiorina, on the other hand, has already used her gender in her favor, as calling herself the anti-Hillary Clinton, and the best GOP candidate to talk women’s issues.
- Carson and Fiorina’s presidential announcements come on Star Wars Day, which is celebrated by fans of the film series today, May the Fourth (because of the Jedi farewell, “May the force be with you”). More on Carson, Fiorina, Star Wars, and politics from The Hill: http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/240814-fiorina-and-carson-hope-the-force-is-with-them
- Race to 45: Travel Tracker Two presidential candidates will be in Michigan today, in addition to Ben Carson (announcing his presidential campaign in Detroit).
- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is in the state to speak at two local Republican Party events: the Ingham County GOP Luncheon in Lansing, and the Oakland County GOP Lincoln Dinner in Novi.
- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, meanwhile, is holding a Stand with Rand rally at the Kent County Republican Party headquarters in Grand Rapids with Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI).
- For Walker, and the others, Michigan is a strategic place to campaign – a key part of his Midwest strategy after Iowa, which kicks off the presidential primary cycle.
White House Watch
- The President’s Schedule At 10:45 AM, President Barack Obama will depart the White House for Joint Base Andrews, where he will arrive 15 minutes later, and leave for New York.
- Obama will arrive in New York, where he is spending the day, at 12 PM.
- At 1:30 PM, the President will participate in a roundtable discussion with students at Lehman College in the Brox, an urban school that is over 80% African-American or Hispanic students. It is an independent college in the City of New York (CUNY) system.
- At 2:35 PM, Obama will speak at Lehman College announcing the expansion of his My Brother’s Keeper initiative into a non-profit group, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance
- President Obama created My Brother’s Keeper in 2014, to help young men of color. The non-profit already has $80 million in commitments behind it; the My Brother’s Keeper White House Task Force will continue through Obama’s White House tenure.
- So far, it is unclear what Obama’s role will be in the non-profit, although the group’s formation is likely a sign of what he hopes to do with his post-presidency. Obama will be just 55 when his presidency ends in January 2017, and he already has the Barack Obama Foundation, which he can use for philanthropic work, modeled after the Clinton Foundation.
- My Brother’s Keeper Alliance will be modeled after Bill Clinton’s other post-presidential venture, the Clinton Global Initiative; mentoring young black men is likely to be a focus of Obama’s post-presidency, especially in light of the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Freddie Gray.
- At 4:20 PM, Obama will tape an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman at Sullivan Theater in New York City. After 33 years on late night TV (and 22 years at CBS), Letterman is retiring this month, with his last show set for May 20. Former Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert will succeed Letterman, debuting September 8.
- Later tonight, Obama will attend and address two DNC fundraisers, one an open-press event, the other a closed-press roundtable, before returning to Washington, D.C.
Question of the Day
- Today’s Question President Obama speaks today at Lehman College. Who was Lehman College named for?