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Wake Up To Politics - November 10, 2015

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015
364 Days until Election Day 2016
83 Days until the Iowa Caucuses It's Tuesday, November 10, 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!!!
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

  • Debate Day: Milwaukee Hosts Match Four The fourth Republican presidential debate of the 2016 cycle takes place tonight at Milwaukee Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Fox Business Network (FBN) and The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) are co-hosting tonight’s event, and following the precedent set by the previous three this cycle, have split the night into two debates. A one-hour undercard debate, moderated by FBN’s Trish Regan and Sandra Smith and WSJ’s Gerald Seib, will begin at 7pm ET/6pm CT, before the two-hour main debate, moderated by FBN’s Maria Bartiromo and Neil Cavuto, at 9pm ET/8pm CT.
  • Both debates will be aired on Fox Business Network and streamed for free on FoxBusiness.com. The format is different than past debates: there will be no opening statements, to make time for 90-second answers and 30-second rebuttals (longer time allotments than usual), with 30-second closing statements at the end. As with the last debate, the theme tonight is the economy, with a “focus on jobs, taxes, and the general health of the economy, as well as domestic and international policy issues,” according to FBN.
  • Candidates qualifying for the main debate had to average at least 2.5% in the “four most recent national polls conducted through November 4th, as recognized by FOX Business”. An average score of at least 1% was required to participate in the undercard debate.
  • Just eight candidates met the criteria for the main debate: as the frontrunners, Donald Trump and Ben Carson will take center stage; with Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and John Kasich to Trump’s right, and Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, and Rand Paul to Carson’s left.
  • Notably absent from that list: Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee, who have participated in the previous primetime debates, but will join Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum at tonight’s undercard. Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, and George Pataki, meanwhile, have been left out of the proceedings altogether, failing to even qualify for the “happy hour” debate. While Gilmore has only participated in one debate this cycle (the first undercard), Graham and Pataki have participated in every one up until now.
  • How did Christie, Huckabee, Graham, and Pataki all get demoted a rung? Fox Business’ polling average only included polls conducted by “major, nationally-recognized organizations that use…live interviewers, random digit-dial sampling techniques and include both landlines and cell phones”. A poll conducted within Fox’s criteria and timeframe, by McClatchy/Marist, was released Monday; if it had been included in the four polls Fox used (replacing the least recent), both Christie and Huckabee would return to the primetime stage, and Pataki to the undercard. However, the poll was released after Fox announced its lineup, and will have no effect on who is allowed at tonight’s debates.
  • The main focus of the primetime debate will be Dr. Ben Carson, who has been under fire recently for reports that parts of his personal narrative have been fabricated. Carson’s rise to frontrunner status could be threatened by attacks on the subject by his rivals, or questioning from the moderators, if they choose to deviate from the debate’s economic focus.
  • In addition, the Floridians who will stand next to each other tonight – Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush – will be in the spotlight; Rubio, in light of his success at the last debate and recent momentum, and Bush, in light of his declining campaign and failure (so far) to turn it around.
  • But perhaps even more than any of the candidates, the moderators will be closely watched. CNBC’s handling of their hosting duties at the last debate was widely panned by candidates and pundits alike, and if tonight’s moderators cannot do better, a renewed focus on debate negotiations may emerge, forever changing the nature of presidential primary debates.
  • Both moderators (Bartiromo and Cavuto) are Fox anchors and editors, as well as former CNBC hosts themselves; Wall Street Journal Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker will also ask questions. All three have pledged to pay attention to time division at the debate, to ask fair questions, and remain invisible as the candidates fight it out, a different approach than taken by the CNBC moderators.
  • From My Inbox This is an important debate, and I know that because the presidential candidates have been emailing me and telling me (I am subscribed to the mailing lists of the all the candidates). Here’s a sampling of emails from the past few days:
  • From: Jeb Bush, Subject: quick question, Friend – “This week marks the fourth GOP presidential debate, and I think it’s about time we have a debate that is actually focused on the issues facing our country…The American people are tuning in to these debates to hear discussion about the issues that matter…We’ve always been the Party of ideas and solutions, and there’s no reason our debates shouldn’t reflect that.”
  • From: Chris Christie, Subject: Give me a podium and I’ll be there – “I've said since the beginning that it doesn’t matter what debate stage I’m on. Give me a podium and I'll be there, anytime, anywhere. Gabe, I’m ready, are you? ...Let’s continue to talk about the real issues and not concern ourselves with those that don't matter, such as the time and place of a debate podium.”
  • From: Sen. Rand Paul – “The debate is tomorrow night and we are down to just 8 candidates on that stage…It is by far the most important debate of the campaign. And now rather than talk about Ben Carson’s college applications, or Marco Rubio’s credit card scandal, we can talk about the real issues facing our country…We each get more time to speak because only 8 candidates will be on the stage….this means more time to discuss the issues that truly matter. And I trust Fox Business will do a better job staying on the issues than CNBC.”
  • From: Coach Marco, Subject: Game day – “If your team has done really well and you're a lock for the playoffs, you still have to take every game (and every play) seriously. And that's exactly how I'm approaching Tuesday's debate. The last three debates have been great opportunities for our campaign to introduce our optimistic message, tell my story, and invite them to join our team. But just like in sports, you can't take anything for granted and my team and I are preparing to take advantage of every opportunity Tuesday night's debate affords us…It's the fourth network to host a debate and that means a new audience of Americans will tune in. Unfortunately, we also saw that other campaigns and even the moderators were out to get us. We were prepared then and -- if you chip in -- we'll be prepared next week, too.”

White House Watch

  • The President’s Schedule President Obama only has one item on his public schedule today: a 5pm meeting with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.
  • Obama Joins Facebook After nearly seven years of the White House posting to Facebook on his behalf, President Barack Obama officially joined Facebook himself Monday.
  • If you want to see posts and status updates from their Commander-in-Chief, you will no longer have to go to the “White House” page or the “Barack Obama” page (run by Organizing for Action), because “President Obama” is on Facebook now, and apparently, he writes all his posts himself.
  • Obama’s Facebook page is similar to his Twitter account (@POTUS), which he got in May of this year. Both are supposedly run by the President himself, and will be handed over to the next President in January 2017. Obama also has the same bio across both social media sites: “Dad, husband, and 44th President of the United States. Comments and messages received through this account may be archived:wh.gov/privacy.”
  • In his first post, the President shared what can be expected from the page, writing: “Hello, Facebook! I finally got my very own page. I hope you’ll think of this as a place where we can have real conversations about the most important issues facing our country – a place where you can hear directly from me, and share your own thoughts and stories. (You can expect some just-for-fun stuff, too.)”
  • That post also came with a video of Obama walking in his backyard, discussing climate change, and the importance of preserving National Parks and the entire world for future generations.
  • Obama’s first post triggered nearly 27,000 comments, including from Sens. Ben Cardin (MD), Ed Markey (MA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI); Rep. Bob Dold (IL); the Sierra Club; Katie Couric; Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg; and Facebook co-founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who wrote, “Welcome, President Obama! I'm excited that you've joined our community, and I look forward to seeing how you engage with people here on Facebook.”
  • So far, President Obama has gotten over 665,000 likes, which is impressive in less than 24 hours, but nothing to Shakira’s 103 million.
  • Shameless Plug Once you’ve liked President Obama, go over to www.facebook.com/WakeUpToPolitics, and give me a like as well. I haven’t used Facebook all that much so far, but still like to get any content I do post there. Also, if anyone has ideas for ways to utilize my Facebook page, please email me!

Capitol Hill News

  • Senate: Today One day before Veterans Day, the Senate will vote on a House-passed National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016. The $607 billion defense policy measure just carries over the Defense Department funding levels agreed to in the bipartisan budget agreement passed last month. However, there is one controversial add-in: a ban on transferring Guantanamo Bay prisoners to the United States, which would thwart President Obama’s longtime effort to close the detention camp.
  • Also today, the chamber will turn to another veterans-related measure: the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, the appropriations bill to fund Defense Department military construction, the Veterans Affairs Department, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims, the Armed Forces Retirement Home, Arlington National Cemetery, and other related agencies.
  • This is the first of the twelve appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2016 to be considered in the Senate.

Question of the Day

  • Today’s Question What was the notable event in presidential history that took place at the venue for tonight’s Republican debate?
  • Email me at wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com to answer the question; correct respondents will get their name in tomorrow’s Wake Up!
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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