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Wake Up To Politics - October 22, 2015

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Thursday, October 22, 2015
383 Days until Election Day 2016
102 Days until the Iowa Caucuses
23 Days until the Next Democratic Debate
6 Days Until the Next Republican DebateIt's Thursday, October 22, 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

  • Clinton Testifies on Benghazi Hillary Clinton faces a huge test for her presidential campaign Thursday as he testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi about the 2012 attacks on America’s consulate in Libya while she was Secretary of State.
  • The panel, made up of seven Republicans and five Democrats, is expected to question Clinton on her response to the Benghazi attacks and her use of a private server to send emails at the State Department. Republicans, led by chairman Trey Gowdy (SC), may also grill Clinton on other events in Libya, such as Muammar Gaddafi’s fall, and other questions designed to hurt her credibility.
  • After weeks of criticizing the Benghazi Committee for being formed on purely political reasons (running her presidential campaign), and making use of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s comments implying that, Clinton enters her testimony on offense.
  • However, both sides will be closely watched at the hearing today: one slip-up by Clinton could badly damage her campaign; one mistake on the Republican side could impair the future of the committee itself.
  • Ahead of Clinton’s testimony, a CNN/ORC poll released Wednesday gave some signs as to where the American public was on the Benghazi Committee and related issues. Here’s the data::
  • Clinton’s Email Use 54% said Clinton’s email scandal is relevant and an “important indicator of her character and ability to serve as president” relevant; 43% said it was not relevant
  • 80% of Republicans and 57% of Independents said it was relevant; 70% of Democrats said it was not relevant
  • Benghazi Committee 72% said the Benghazi Committee is “mostly using its investigative mission for political gain”; 23% said it is “conducting an objective investigation”.
  • 49% of Republicans, 85% of Democrats, and 75% of Independents said the committee is political. 47% of Republicans thought it was on objective investigation.
  • Clinton and Benghazi 59% said Clinton’s mishandled Benghazi, 36% were satisfied with her handling of the attacks.
  • 63% of Democrats said they were satisfied, while 85% of Republicans and 65% of Independents said they were dissatisfied.
  • “We’re Out of Time”: No Presidential Campaign for Biden Vice President Joe Biden announced Wednesday in the Rose Garden that he would be a candidate for President in 2016, or likely ever again.
  • With this announcement, Biden closed months of speculation about whether or not he would join the Democratic presidential primary.
  • “As my family and I have worked through the grieving process…that process, by the time we get through it, closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for President…I’ve concluded that it has closed,” said Biden, 72.
  • “Unfortunately, I believe we're out of time – the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination,” the Vice President continued.
  • Biden’s decision to stay out of the race for President is a big win for Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, whose campaign was reportedly worried about a Biden bid. Since the possibility of Biden running reemerged after the death of his son Beau in May, it became more and more likely that the Vice President would run, as Clinton was questioned over her use of a private email server and sharply declined in the polls as a result.
  • However, after Clinton’s well-received performance in last week’s Democratic debate, many agreed that it was too late for Biden to win. The window had closed.
  • The Vice President spoke to Clinton and to Bernie Sanders, her closest rival for the Democratic nomination, after his announcement Thursday. Many of Biden’s supporters are expected to go to Clinton; already, the effects of his decision have become evident, as both the governor of Delaware and mayor of Wilmington, Biden’s home state and town, endorsed Clinton yesterday.
  • A statement from Clinton read, “Joe Biden is a good man and a great Vice President.  Serving alongside him in the Senate and then the administration, I saw first-hand his passion for our country and our people.  Like millions of others, I admire his devotion to family, his grace in grief, his grit and determination on behalf of the middle class, and his unyielding faith in America’s promise.”
  • “I am confident that history isn’t finished with Joe Biden. As he said today, there is more work to do. And if I know Joe, he will always be on the front-lines, always fighting for all of us,” she also said.
  • Biden alluded to the “more work to do” in his Rose Garden statement, speaking about leveling the playing field for the middle class, getting money out of politics, making college education free for all Americans, expanding child care, curing cancer, and “moving forward in the arc of this nation toward justice” (for LGBT Americans, immigrants, women, and targets of racism).
  • With that, Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. exited the stage of his political career. Just 15 months away from leaving the Vice Presidency, Biden nears the end of a 45-year-long political career that has taken him from the New Castle County Council to the U.S. Senate (at age 30, the youngest a Senator can be), where he served for 36 years and as chairman of the powerful Judiciary and Foreign Relations committees, to his current perch “a heartbeat away from the presidency”.
  • Long and distinguished career aside, Biden still never reached the goal he attempted twice: the Presidency of the United States. With his announcement Thursday that he will not try for the office thrice, Biden officially will never get closer than a heartbeat.
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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