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Wake Up To Politics - September 8, 2016

Thursday, September 8, 2016
61 Days Until Election Day 2016 (AKA my 15th birthday)
18 Days Until the First Presidential DebateI'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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Need to Know

  • All Three Participants of Commander-in-Chief Forum Panned Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton did not square off face-to-face Wednesday, but they did share a stage (albeit back-to-back, and not at the same time) - offering a preview of how each candidate will perform at their upcoming debates. If NBC's Commander-in-Chief forum is any guide, they both have issues to work on.
  • The forum also gave a clue as to the intense scrutiny that the debate moderators will undergo, as "Today Show" host Matt Lauer was criticized across-the-board for his questioning. Lauer was widely seen as devoting almost half of his time with Clinton to questions about her use of a private email server while Secretary of State, then speeding through questions about foreign policy, while Trump was given ample time to make false statements that went unanswered.
  • Even so, the forum exposed real faults in each candidates' on-stage performances. Despite months after being asked the same questions, Clinton still projected discomfort while she answered Lauer's questions on her emails while having difficulty clearly describing a simplified version of her national security plan (an area in which she is an expert).
  • Clinton admitted the private server was a mistake ("something that should not have been done," she said), but seemed to grow "visibly irritated at times with the repeated focus on her past actions," according to the Associated Press. "I'm asking to be judged on the totality of record," Clinton said.
  • Meanwhile, many Republicans saw Trump waste an opportunity to capitalize on his newfound polling advantage in the race (which was shown as a Clinton landslide just weeks ago, but is now within the margin of error) by playing right into Democratic attacks of his relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
  • Trump repeatedly praised Putin throughout the night, saying: "If he says great things about me, I'm gonna say great things about him. I've already said he is really very much of a leader. I mean, the man has very strong control over a country. And that's a very different system and I don't happen to like the system. But certainly in that system he's been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader." Trump also noted Putin's "82 percent approval rating."
  • The Republican nominee also struggled to prove that his preparedness to serve as commander-in-Chief. "I built a great company, I've been all over the world," Trump said. Lauer asked again, to which the Republican responded in classic Trumpian fashion: "I have great judgment." While he continued to claim that he was "a hundred percent" ready to take on the presidency, Trump failed to give any details on his plan for national security.
  • Much of the criticism piled on to Matt Lauer after the NBC forum resulted not just from what he asked, but from what he didn't ask. After Trump attempted to prove his "great judgement" by claiming "I was totally against the war in Iraq," the moderator failed to point out well-documented proof that Trump supported the war at its beginning. Clinton responded more apologetically to a question on her support for the war, while predicting how Trump would answer later. "I have taken responsibility for my decision," Clinton said. "He refuses to take responsibility for his support."
  • In the end, the forum served as a precaution to all three of the participants on the debate stage in just two weeks: not just Trump and Clinton, but the moderator as well.

Politics Planner

All times Eastern.

  • Election 2016 10am Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, will speak at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. The event will be hosted by the Reagan Library, not the Trump-Pence campaign, and attendees who attempt to "wear or bring any buttons, hats, shirts, banners, etc. that promote Trump/Pence or anything else that references the upcoming election...will be sent back to their car to put [the item] away."
  • 12pm Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will hold a rally at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she will "discuss her plans to keep our nation safe, including working with our allies, and highlight how Donald Trump doesn't have the temperament to serve as commander in chief," according tot he Clinton campaign.
  • 2pm Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will deliver an address on education policy at the Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy, a charter school in Ohio.
  • 2pm Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, the Libertarian vice-presidential nominee, will address students at Emerson College in Boston.
  • 5pm Hillary Clinton will speak at the 136th annual session of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., the oldest and largest African-American religious organization in the nation. The remarks will take place at the Kansas City Convention Center in Missouri.
  • 5pm Anne Holton, wife of Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine, will attend a fundraiser for the Hillary Victory Fund in Denver, Colorado. Tickets for the event, which will be attended by actor Maulik Pancholy (AKA Jonathan in "30 Rock"), range from $100 to $2,500.
  • 8pm Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein will hold a rally at the Preston Bradley Building (home of the Peoples Church) in Chicago, Illinois, where she will speak about "green jobs, fair wages, social justice, and a future for the planet and for human dignity," according to her campaign. Stein will be joined by the entire Illinois Green Party slate, including candidates for U.S. Senate and other offices.
  • White House 1pm First Lady Michelle Obama will honor the five 2016 National Student Poets in a White House event. Since 2011, one student in grades 10-11 from five different regions of America have been chosen annually to serve as literary ambassadors for the following year. The National Student Poets are selected by the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; Mrs. Obama serves as honorary chair of the committee. All five of this year's student winners will read their poetry at the event, as will rapper Q-Tip, who serves as Artistic Director for Hip-Hop Culture at The Kennedy Center.
  • Meanwhile, President Obama is already flying back from Laos to Washington, D.C. After two Air Force One refueling stops en route, the President will touch down in the capital Friday morning.
  • Also today, Vice President Joe Biden will join Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (NV) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA) for a press conference to urge congressional Republicans to take action on the nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court seat left vacant by Antonin Scalia's death. Garland was nominated 176 days ago by President Obama.
  • Congress 9:30am The Senate will begin its day with the prayer and Pledge of Allegiance, as well as a moment of silence in tribute of the Americans who perished on September 11, 2001. Following any Leader remarks, the upper chamber will continue consideration of the Water Resources Development Act, the bipartisan, $9 billion water infrastructure spending package. The bill, which includes $280 million for aid to Flint, Michigan, is co-sponsored by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Jim Inhofe (R-CA), one of the chamber's most liberal members and one of its most conservative.
  • 10am The House meets for morning hour, when any member may speak for one minute at a time.
  • 10:30am Judge Merrick Garland returns to the Hill as his Supreme Court nomination remains in limbo, meeting with Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the first senator he met with earlier this year, to discuss the continuing Democratic effort to ensure his confirmation.
  • 1:15pm The House will begin voting on the day's legislation. The chamber will first consider the Accelerating Access to Capital Act, one of the bills in the House Republican "innovation initiative" legislative package (all of which are intended to shield financial technology companies from regulation). The bill "would make it easier for businesses to file registration statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in order to sell securities to the public," according to the Congressional Budget Office.
  • The House will then hold a vote postponed from Wednesday, on a resolution condemining the Russian military intervention and occupation of Georgia and affirming U.S. support for Georgia's current territorial borders.

Daily Data

  • Trump, Clinton Release Fundraising Numbers Fox News reported Wednesday that, together with his joint committees, Donald Trump raised $90 million in August. The amount is large for what has historically been a slow fundraising month, and a $10 million increase from his July total.
  • However, he still trails Hillary Clinton in fundraising: the Democratic nominee bucked historical fundraising trends with a $143 million August haul with a joint committee of the Democratic National Committee and some state parties.
  • While Clinton's haul is much larger, Trump's ability to raise $90 million is still impressive given his small fundraising opposition, which was just created a few months ago, well after Clinton had begun raising cash.
  • Chances of Dying in Office: Trump vs. Clinton At 70 and 68, respectively, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton would both rank among the oldest U.S. presidents in history. However, coverage of Clinton's health - mainly from conservative media sources - well outpaces that of Trump's. Despite that, an analysis by Bragg Associates for The Washington Post's The Fact Checker on Wednesday found that Trump has a 1 in 12 (8.43%) chance of dying by the end of a two-term presidency, compared to Clinton's 1 in 17 (5.89%) chance.
  • The analysis "drew on the Bragg Life Tables, a vast database based on from the experiences of more than 20 life insurance companies, and statistical data relating to the morbidity and mortality of people with and without numerous medical ailments," according to The Washington Post. Clinton's mortality factor was increased because of a 2012 head injury, but not enough to change the fact that the life expectancy for people under age 77 is higher for women than for men. The firm estimates that Trump will "remain healthy" for 17 years, while Clinton will for 19 years; since both nominees have never smoked, that number is heightened.
  • In 2008, Bragg Associates also calculated the mortality factor of then-Republican nominee John McCain, finding that the Arizona's senator history of smoking and skin cancer gave him a 1 in 4 chance of dying by the end of an eighth year in the White House.

Today's Trivia

  • Today's Question What is the name of the U.S. policy that dictates opposition to territorial changes effected by force, which the House is affirming in passage of a resolution today?
  • Answer by emailing me: trivia@wakeuptopolitics.com
  • Past Answers There are two questions to which I owe answers: from yesterday, which President appointed the first female federal judge? Calvin Coolidge nominated Genevieve Rose Cline to the U.S. Customs Court in 1928.
  • GREAT JOB...Matt Neufeld, Joan Zucker, Joe Bookman, Jordan Burger, and Marlee Millman!
  • Honorable mention to Maris Berg and Herb Cohen, who answered Ronald Reagan (who appointed the first female Supreme Court justice); and Gail Smith, who answered Franklin D. Roosevelt (who appointed the first female Cabinet secretary).
  • Also, a question last week asked who was the founder of the American Legion? Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., son of the 26th president.
  • GREAT JOB...Joan Zucker, Marlee Millman, Jim Wilbat, Ellen Turongian, and Joe Bookman!
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation", St. Louis Public Radio, the Political Junkie podcast, and on StoryCorps; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki"; and read about Gabe in Politico, the Washington Post, Independent Journal, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Salon, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light.