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Wednesday, September 9, 2015
426 Days until Election Day
36 Days until the 1st Democratic Debate
7 Days until the Next Republican DebateIt's Wednesday, September 9, 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!!!
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- Hillary Clinton: “I’m Sorry” About Emails After months of holding out from apologizing about her use of a private email server while Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton said she was “sorry” about it Tuesday.
- Clinton’s apology came in an interview with ABC’s David Muir on “World News Tonight”. When asked about her private email use, the Democratic frontrunner said, “That was a mistake. I'm sorry about that. I take responsibility and I am trying to be as transparent as I possibly can.”
- Since March, the email scandal has dogged Clinton’s campaign, and while she has regretted combining her State Department and personal business into one email account, this is her first real apology.
- And while the apology was seen as much more sincere than Clinton’s previous explanations, the GOP still has its doubts. “The only thing Hillary Clinton regrets is that she got caught and is dropping in the polls, not the fact her secret email server left classified information exposed to the Russians and Chinese,” Republican National Committee spokesperson Allison Moore said in a statement. “Hillary Clinton’s reckless attempt to skirt government transparency laws put our national security at risk and shows she cannot be trusted in the White House.”
- Her comments on ABC are a departure from what she said just a day before: speaking to the Associated Press in Iowa, Clinton said she didn’t need to apologize because “what I did was allowed.” Days before that, on Friday, she told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, “I am sorry that this has been confusing to people and raised a lot of questions. I take responsibility and it wasn't the best choice.” Even Tuesday, in a different interview (with Ellen DeGeneres), Clinton gave her non-apology, again saying, “I am sorry for all the confusion that has ensued.”
- The ABC interview was also notable for how emotional Clinton got at one point: in a moment similar to her tearing up in New Hampshire in 2008 (credited with fueling her victory in the state), Clinton spoke about the difficulty of campaigning, as well as her late mother, and began to get choked up.
- By apologizing, Clinton may be attempting to get past the email scandal…an attempt that is most likely futile. The State Department continues to release emails she sent on her personal account, some of them classified, and on Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry appointed Janice Jacobs to the newly created post of “transparency coordinator” for the department. Jacobs’ appointment was criticized by Republicans Tuesday after it was revealed that she recently donated $2,700 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
- Jacobs, a former Ambassador who retired as Assistant Secretary of State last year, will take charge of the State Department’s efforts to “improve the preservation and release times of documents requested by Congress and the public under the Freedom of Information Act,” according to the Associated Press.
- Chief among these documents: emails from Hillary Clinton.
- Iran Deal: 2016ers Speak Three presidential candidates will hold rallies Wednesday on the Iran nuclear deal, two of them together.
- Rival candidates Ted Cruz and Donald Trump take the rare step today of holding a joint rally – perhaps unheard of in presidential politics. Trump and Cruz will be joined by a number of conservative icons, from Sarah Palin to Glenn Beck and Mark Levin to Phil Roberton of “Duck Dynasty” to about a dozen lawmakers, including Reps. Steve King (IA) and Ted Yoho (FL), for an event to oppose the Iran nuclear agreement on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The rally’s sponsors include Tea Party Patriots, the Center for Security Policy, and the Zionist Organization of America.
- The Trump-Cruz alliance, which has led to this rare joint rally between rivals, is mostly built on a mutual belief that each will get the other’s supporters down the road. More on their relationship: from the Washington Post, National Journal, CNN, and Roll Call.
- Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton will also weigh in on the Iran deal – spoiler alert: she supports it – in a speech today at the Brookings Institution.
- Harvard Professor Joins Democratic Field And then there were six. Democrats get a new presidential candidate today: Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, who announces his one-issue campaign, focused on campaign finance reform, in New Hampshire today.
- Lessig formed an exploratory committee in August to consider a presidential bid, and said if he could raise $1 million by Labor Day, he would run. The professor announced Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that he had met his goal, a day before the deadline.
- This will not be Lessig’s first foray into politics. He formed Mayday PAC to support pro-campaign finance candidates in the 2014 election. Lessig probably hopes that this venture fares better than that one though: the PAC raised $10 million to support its slate of candidates, only one of whom won their race.
- Lessig’s run is likely to be a long shot…making it even rarer: the fact that he if he wins the Presidency, he wants to have the shortest term ever. Lessig says his one goal as President will be to pass his Citizens Equality Act, a bill that combats many of his pet issues (campaign finance, gerrymandering, and voting rights). Once the bill is signed into law, President Lessig will resign the office.
- This makes his choice of running mate very important, since that person may end up serving as President before the next four years are up. So important that Lessig is outsourcing the decision to an online poll. “The good news,” his website says, “is that America will get two great presidents for the price of one, where a vote for Lessig supports a referendum and it’s also a vote for your other favorite candidate (who will serve as VP).” The website asks for supporters to vote for their “#dreamticket”; the potential running mates listed, which supporters can choose from, many of them liberal icons, are: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, activist Van Jones, comedian Jon Stewart, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, four of the five other Democratic presidential candidates (all except Lincoln Chafee), and Vice President Joe Biden.
- Lessig’s announcement today will take place in Claremont, New Hampshire, where House Speaker Newt Gingrich and President Bill Clinton shook hands to tackle campaign finance two decades ago.
- He intends to finish that promise.
Capitol Hill News
- Democrats Fall in Line for Iran Deal; Obama Gains Enough Votes to Filibuster Disapproval Resolution With announcements of support Tuesday from Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal (CT), Maria Cantwell (WA), Gary Peters (MI), and Ron Wyden (OR), President Barack Obama sealed 42 votes for the Iran nuclear deal – one more than is needed to filibuster the resolution disapproving of the deal that is expected to face Congress in the coming days.
- Also Tuesday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) came out against the deal, becoming the fourth Senate Democrats to announce opposition to the nuclear agreement. All 46 members of the Democratic caucus in the Senate have no announced their positions on Iran; the other three opposing are Sens. Chuck Schumer (NY), Bob Menendez (NJ), and Ben Cardin (MD) are the others. Most Senate Republicans have announced their view as well, and it appears none will support the deal.
- The White House Tuesday released a “Statement of Administration Policy” threatening to veto the disapproval resolution…a threat he will likely not have to act: by clinching 41 votes in the Senate – and going one over – it is almost guaranteed that the resolution will never reach his desk, allowing the nuclear deal to go through Congress unharmed.
- Beyond Congress You might be able to cast your vote on the Iran deal, in a state election near you: http://time.com/4025154/iran-deal-state-constitution-amendment/?xid=tcoshare
- Remember When Democrats Didn’t Like Filibustering? Senate Democrats are planning to filibuster the disapproval resolution. Remember when they were against the filibuster? http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-09-08/filibuster-opponents-have-gone-quiet-since-democrats-lost-the-senate
- The President’s Schedule President Barack Obama travels to Warren, Michigan today to tour Macomb Community College and to announce “new steps to expand apprenticeships and to continue to build momentum nationwide to make community college free for responsible students,” according to the White House.
- Obama will be joined by Dr. Jill Biden, the Vice President’s wife and a community college professor for over 20 years.
Question of the Day
- Today’s Question Democratic presidential candidate Lawrence Lessig, announcing his 2016 bid today, wants to convene a second constitutional convention to consider a number of constitutional amendments. How can a Second Constitutional Convention be called, and what article of the Constitution outlines this possibility?
- Answer one or both questions by emailing me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and get your name in tomorrow’s Wake Up!
- *The answer to yesterday’s trivia question will be in another Wake Up. Sorry!*
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