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Wake Up To Politics - October 13, 2015

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015
392 Days until Election Day 2016
111 Days until the Iowa Caucuses
15 Days until the Next Republican Debate
0 Days Until the 1st Democratic DebateIt's Tuesday, October 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

  • Debate Day: Democrats get their chance at primetime After two Republican debates, it will be the Democrats in the spotlight tonight when the party’s presidential contenders gather in Las, Vegs Nevada for the first debate of the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries, sponsored by CNN, Facebook, and the Nevada Democratic Party, is today.
  • Here’s everything you need to know about tonight’s debate:
  • WHERE is the debate? The Wynn hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada (the third state to vote in the Democratic primary process)
  • WHEN is the debate? Starts at 6pm local time (9/8pm Eastern/Central Time) and lasts two hours
  • WHO are the candidates? Five candidates were invited to the debate: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who will be at center stage, with the second highest-polling candidate, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, to her left, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, polling in third place, to her right. At the far left of the stage will be former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb; former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee will be far right. All declared candidates who “achieved an average of 1% in three polls, recognized by CNN, released between August 1 and October 10” were invited, according to the network. “Declared” candidate means they must have filed a FEC statement of candidacy OR have announced plans to file a statement of candidacy by October 14, meaning Vice President Joe Biden could announce his candidacy today and still be guaranteed a podium. In fact, CNN even has a sixth podium on hand, just in case. Don't get excited, though: While a Biden announcement is expected soon, his participation in today's debate is extremely unlikely.
  • WHO is moderating? Anderson Cooper, host of CNN's “Anderson Cooper 360°,” will be behind the moderator's desk tonight. Cooper is no stranger to presidential primary debates, having moderated in 2008 and 2012. CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash, who also participated in CNN's GOP debate last month, and CNN en Español chief anchor Juan Carlos Lopez will also ask questions of the candidates, with "CNN Tonight" host Don Lemon asking questions voters submitted via Facebook.
  • HOW can I watch? The debate will be aired on CNN and livestreamed on cnn.com AND in virtual reality: CNN is partnering with NextVR to make this debate the first news event in history to be live streamed in virtual reality, a full 3D immersive experience giving viewers a front-row seat to the Las Vegas debate...from the comfort of their homes, an experience mocked by Stephen Colbert last month. “Users are able to hold a gaze on a particular candidate, catch off-screen interactions and more. Each and every viewer has a seat in the room and a new perspective on presidential debates,” a CNN blog post said. The last Republican debate (one of four primary debates this cycle hosted by CNN) is also now available on the Oculus Store to any with a Samsung GearVR virtual reality headset.
  • WHAT are the stakes? Each candidate enters tonight’s debate with different objectives:
  • CLINTON All eyes will be Hillary Clinton tonight, watching to see how she presents herself to voters, and how she responds to attacks about her emails (if they come) and about flip-flopping on issues like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Keystone XL pipeline. Clinton is apparently going to attempt to show a new face to Democratic voters in tonight’s debate, and will no doubt attempt to make her more personable, human side on display.
  • SANDERS Months ago, political insiders doubted Bernie Sander’s candidacy. He has responded with increasing poll numbers, inserting himself into the race as a viable alternative to Clinton. His challenge tonight? Appealing to a wider group of voters beyond his white liberal base. Sanders has never been on a presidential debate stage, and he will have to be careful under the pressure of Clinton’s attacks. If she decides to go all out on Sanders, which she has withheld from doing on the campaign trail, he may face withering assaults on gun control, which he opposes. Sanders must stay on message and refrain from reverting to impatience, at risk of looking like an angry old man, or it is game over for the insurgent socialist.
  • O'MALLEY, WEBB, CHAFEE Finally, the mostly-unknown trio rounding out the debate stage. All three are polling at 1% (or worse), and have low name recognition even among Democrats. But, they have the same audience as Clinton and Standers: likely the best audience any of their campaigns will ever have. For these three, particularly O’Malley, the debate presents a final chance at a Fiorina moment, emulative of Carly Fiorina, the businesswoman who began the Republican primaries unknown and in the 2% polling range, but capitalized off of two debate wins and catapulted to the top tier. Can any of these three outsiders appeal to undecided Democrats and break through the Clinton/Sanders bubble?
  • The Webb/Chafee appeal is their unpredictability and “out-there” stances; O’Malley’s is his youth (at 52, he is a decade younger than anyone else on stage, and almost two decades younger than most of the candidates). The Marylander’s main issue thus far has been his push for more debates to be added to the schedule, accusing the Democratic National Committee of being undemocratic (and even illegal) in is involvement in the debate schedule, which currently calls for six events like the one today. Now that O’Malley is at a debate, can he break through?
  • Today on the Trail What will Republicans be doing during the Democratic debate? Jeb Bush will roll out his Obamacare replacement proposal at a Manchester, New Hampshire event. Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum will all be campaigning in Iowa.
  • At least two Republican candidates will be watching the debate, and letting the world know what they think, in real time. Donald Trump will use his famous Twitter account to live-tweet the Democratic debate, which he announced Monday, saying “At the request of many, and even though I expect it to be a very boring two hours, I will be covering the Democrat Debate live on twitter!”
  • Rand Paul will take it a step further. Paul is live-streaming his entire day on the campaign trail Tuesday, so you can watch him watch the debate. He will become the first presidential candidate ever to live-stream a whole day, which will be an interesting piece of history, for future generations to witness the grind of a day in the life of someone running for President. The cameras will follow Paul through his various Iowa campaign events today, and he will give real-time responses to the Democratic debate as he watches it. During downtime, Paul will answer questions supporters have sent in with #randlive. Paul’s livestream can be seen on his Facebook and Ustream.

White House Watch

  • The President’s Schedule A quiet day at the White House: the only item on the Obama’s schedule is a 2:45pm Oval Office meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
  • Biden’s Schedule White House guidance for the Vice President’s schedule has him simply attending the Presidential Daily Briefing in the morning and then “attend[ing] meetings at the White House,” which is obviously code for “flying to Las Vegas and surprising everyone by participating in the debate”. Late-night hosts made hay about CNN’s constant reminders throughout Monday that they had a sixth podium for Biden, which Stephen Colbert called “breaking, up-to-the-minute fan fiction,” and was mocked by Trevor Noah as well.

Question of the Day

  • Today’s Question When was the first presidential primary debate? (you only need to answer with the year)
  • Yesterday’s Answer Colorado was the first state to make Columbus  Day an official holiday, in 1906, 31 years before the celebration was enshrined as a federal holiday in 1937.
  • GREAT JOB…Steve Gitnik, Rick Isserman, Joe Bookman, Marilyn Schapiro: the mighty foursome of Wake Up To Politics trivia.
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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