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Wake Up To Politics - November 13, 2015

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Friday, November 13, 2015
361 Days until Election Day 2016
80 Days until the Iowa Caucuses It's Friday, November 13, 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

  • House 2016 – Three Members of Congress Announce Reps. Sam Farr (D-CA) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) both announced plans to retire Thursday, with Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) also expected to do so Friday.
  • Farr announced his decision to forgo a run for a 13th term at a press conference in Salinas, California, where he explained: “It’s a tough decision, but very exhilarating, because it opens up all kinds of opportunities.
  • The Californian’s career of public service has spanned five decades, from his time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia to election to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, which led to a seat in the California State Assembly, and then victory in a 1993 special election to the U.S. House of Representatives. Farr currently serves as ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, one of the “Cardinals” who wields enormous influence over the budget.
  • Farr’s district is heavily Democratic (Obama won 71% of the vote in 2012); the party’s main recruit to succeed him is Monterey County Deputy District Attorney Jimmy Panetta, the son of former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who preceded Farr in holding this House seat (his appointment as Bill Clinton’s OMB director caused the vacancy that Farr was elected to fill in the 1993 special election).
  • Meanwhile, after four terms in Congress, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming is also retiring. Lummis announced her decision in a written statement: “I came to Washington to be a reformer, not a career congressman,” she said. “Now it is time for a new face to take on this important task for Wyoming.”
  • Lummis is the at-large U.S. Representative of Wyoming, and is elected by the entire state. Before her election to Congress, Lummis served in the Wyoming State House and State Senate, as well as two terms as State Treasurer.
  • In the House, she has become known for her conservative positions; Lummis is the only female member of the hardliner Freedom Caucus, which forced Speaker John Boehner’s resignation last month. Wyoming is a Republican stronghold (Mitt Romney won 67% of the vote in 2012). Another big name in political dynasties is considering a run: Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
  • Finally, to round off this trio of retirements, Rubén Hinojosa of Texas is expected to announce Friday plans to exit Congress at the end of his current term. Hinojosa’s announcement will came at a 10am press conference in McAllen, Texas.
  • Hinojosa is currently serving in his 20th House term. He was first sent to Congress in 1996, his first elected office. Previously, Hinojosa had served on the Texas State Board of Education. His district is comfortably Democratic, but not as much as Farr’s (Obama won 57% of the vote in 2012).
  • The Texas Democrat will be the 14th member of the House to announce plans to retire at the end of this Congress – 10 Republicans, and 4 Democrats.
  • White House 2016 – Republicans Flock to Florida The Florida Republican Party’s Sunshine Summit opens in Orlando today, for a two-day meeting that will include addresses from many GOP presidential candidates.
  • The summit will hear from Florida’s two favorite sons, Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush, today, as well as their opponents for the Republican presidential nomination: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, businessman Donald Trump, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
  • A number of lower-tier candidates will also address the Sunshine Summit on Saturday: former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.
  • WH 2016 – Weekend Update: Democratic Debate The second Democratic presidential debate will be held in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday. The debate is sponsored by CBS, the Des Moines Register, and KCCI, and will air on CBS from 8pm-10pm Central Time.
  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will face off in the Drake University event.
  • Programming Note I am heading to Des Moines for the five-hour drive with my amazing mother today, and we will arrive tomorrow. I have procured press credentials to watch the debate with members of the media, and then take part in the Spin Room activities following the debate. This is very exciting, of course, and I cannot wait to attend my first presidential debate.
  • As a result, there may be some special writings coming at you this weekend (no promises, but don’t be surprised if they come) depending on a lot of different factors. You can definitely follow my time in Des Moines – before and after the debate, as well as my live-tweeting while it happens – on Twitter at twitter.com/WakeUp2Politics.
  • In the Spin Room, I might be able to catch some of the candidates and their surrogates (again, no promises) – if I do, I want to ask them YOUR questions. Send me questions for Clinton, Sanders, or O’Malley to wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com or with #WUTPDebate on Twiter.
  • Also – if you’re watching MSNBC at 10:45pm-11pm Central Time there is a CHANCE to catch yours truly being interviewed by Steve Kornacki. White House Watch
  • The President’s Schedule At 11:30am, President Obama will sit down with The Most Reverend Joseph Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
  • At 12:30pm, Obama will have his weekly lunch with Vice President Joe Biden.
  • Finally, at 3:10pm, the President will meet with a bipartisan group of former diplomats, including former Secretaries of State Madeline Albright (under Bill Clinton) and James Baker (under George Bush), former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen (under George W. Bush and Obama), and former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft (under Gerald Ford and George Bush).
  • Collectively, the group has logged service under every U.S. President since Gerald Ford. This assembly of former nationals security officials is part of President Obama’s full-court press to sell the Trans-Pacific Partnership; many of the diplomats meeting at the White House today have endorsed the deal. The President will attempt to persuade the others in the meeting.
  • Weekend Preview: Asia Trip President Obama leaves Saturday for a nine-day trip that includes stops in Turkey (to attend the G-20 Leaders Summit), the Philippines (to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit), and Malaysia (to attend the U.S.-ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit).
  • After working on domestic approval of the Trans-Pacific trade deal Friday, a main objective of Obama’s trip will be to sell the deal to Asian leaders.
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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