Wake Up To Politics - Summer Guide 2015
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4th Annual WUTP Summer Guide
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From the Editor's Desk
- Hello and welcome to the 4th annual Wake Up to Politics Summer Guide. At the end of every school year, I write the last edition of Wake Up To Politics before leaving to camp in the wood of Minnesota, away from politics and Internet for eight weeks. I miss writing the Wake Up a lot, but need the time away…and don’t worry: as per tradition, the Wake Up will return on the first day of school in mid-August.
- As I look back on this school year, I just can’t help but smile. It was a difficult one, as I transitioned to a new school, but that didn’t stop the Wake Up from growing. Since school began in August, I have traveled to New York City to appear on MSNBC’s “Up with Steve Kornacki,” to Gettysburg to attend the Lincoln Forum, and to Boston to cover the opening of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States. I had the opportunity to introduce Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander at an event, interview former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and was interviewed in the St. Louis Jewish-Light. Wake Up To Politics included its first-ever Event of the Year issue, the return of Whiteboard Wednesday, coverage of the 2014 and 2016 election and a countless number of issues and events. I am so grateful for all of this, and just for the opportunity to write every morning, and for the kind notes I received from so many of you over the course of the year. As I write this, Wake Up To Politics is sent to nearly 750 subscribers across the country and has over 900 followers on Twitter. And I can’t wait for even more to come in the next year. Thank you.
- But even as I go on Summer Break, politics won’t. This Summer Guide is presented with the same columns as a normal Wake Up, but instead of what is happening in those areas of politics today, I will include what will happen all summer – in hopes that you can still follow along the news of the summer even in my absence.
Thanks again for an amazing year,
See you in August!
Wake Up To Politics
Race to 45
- May 26 Although already an announced candidate for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will launch his presidential campaign. The launch rally will occur at Waterfront Park in Sanders’ hometown of Burlington, Vermont, where he served as mayor for four terms. The 5 PM kickoff event will feature Mango Jam, a local Zydeco/Cajun band, and free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream possibly scoped by Jerry himself.
- May 26 Presidential candidate and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will release his latest book, “Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America,” in which he will present his vision for America.
- May 27 2012 presidential candidate and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) will announce if he is running for President in 2016. The 5 PM event will take place at Penn United Technologies in Cabot, Pennsylvania – near his Butler County boyhood home.
- May 28 Former New York Gov. George Pataki (R-NY) will announce if he is running for President in 2016. Pataki’s 11 AM announcement will be at the historic Exeter Town hall building in Exeter, New Hampshire.
- May 30 Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-MD) will announce if he is jumping in the 2016 presidential race. O’Malley is expected to announce that he is running, and has already secured office space for campaign staff. The event, set for 10 AM, will be at Federal Hill Park in Baltimore.
- June 1 Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) will announce if he is running for President. The expected launch of his presidential campaign will take place in his hometown of Central, South Carolina.
- June 4 Former Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) will announce if he is running for President at an 11:30 AM event in Addison, Texas.
- June 6 Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) will host Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker for her 1st annual Roast and Ride event in Boone, Iowa.
- June 11-13 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney will host Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, John Kasich, and Lindsey Graham for his fourth annual Experts and Enthusiasts (E2) Summit in Deer Valley, Utah.
- June 13 Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D)’s presidential campaign will launch with her first major rally.
- June 30 Presidential candidate and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) will release his latest book, “A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America,” in which he will present his story and ideas.
- August 6 Fox News will host the 2016 cycle’s first GOP presidential primary debate, in Cleveland, Ohio. Participation in the debate will be closed to candidates who place in “the top 10 of an average of the five most recent national polls, as recognized by FOX News leading up to August 4th at 5 PM/ET.” That means candidates who don’t poll in the top 10 will be kicked off the debate stage. FOX is hosting the debate in conjunction with the Ohio Republican Party and Facebook; it will be moderated by Fox hosts Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, and Chris Wallace, and will be presented live from the Quicken Loans Arena from 9-11 PM Eastern Time.
- August 8 Presidential candidates will flock to the Iowa Straw Poll, held in Boone and hosted by the state’s Republican Party. The event has been held in 1979, and although it has not always predicted the GOP nominee, is still a big spectacle. However, as the event moves from its traditional location in Ames, Iowa, and fewer candidates participate (contenders such as Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee are skipping the straw poll), the Iowa Straw Poll will hold a lot less influence this year.
White House Watch
- June 1 President Obama will host Their Royal Highnesses King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands for an Oval Office meeting. The King and Queen, last at the White House in 2009 as Crown, are on a three-day visit to the U.S., their first since becoming King and Queen; the Netherlands royalty will also visit Grand Rapids, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois.
- June 2 President Obama will posthumously bestow the Medal of Honor on two World War I soldiers: Army Sergeant William Shemin and Army Private Henry Johnson, for conspicuous gallantry
- June 9 First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver the commencement address at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Preparatory High School at 7 PM. King College Prep won the First Lady’s FAFSA Completion Challenge, which urged high schools to submit student-produced videos showing how they are increasing Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion rates among seniors. Nearly 200 school submitted videos; King College Prep’s winning submission was a mock episode of “Scandal”.
- June 30 The Obama Administration’s self-set deadline to strike a nuclear deal with Iran. Negotiations will end at this time if a preliminary accord (where Iranians will end their nuclear program in exchange for the U.S. ending – or easing – economic sanctions) has not been reached.
- July 25 President Obama will travel to Kenya, his father’s homeland, to participate in the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), an annual global meeting of entrepreneurs, hosted for the first time in sub-Saharan Africa.
Capitol Hill News
- June 1 Parts of the Patriot Act will expire if Congress does not act before heading off to its Memorial Day recess; the three provisions that could expire authorize the NSA to collect data on telephone calls placed by Americans.
- July 25 The Capitol Rotunda will close for six weeks while the Capitol Dome is being repaired; the rotunda will reopen on September 7, Labor Day.
Supreme Court Spotlight
- Now to late June Until the Supreme Court’s term ends in late June, a number of landmark decisions will be handed down. The big two are King vs. Burwell, which challenges language in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) authorizing tax credits just for insurance purchased with state-run health care exchanges; and Obergefell vs. Hodges, which challenges the legality of same-sex marriages in a number of states.
- June 2 Voters in Mississippi’s 1st congressional district head to the poll for a runoff between Democrat Walter Zinn and Republican Trent Kelly. The two are facing off to replace the late Rep. Alan Nunnelee, who died earlier this year from brain cancer. A Democrat was not expected to advance to the runoff, in the district won by Mitt Romney with 63% of the vote, but Zinn ended up the first-place finisher, with 17% to Kelly’s 16%. Kelly is expected to win the runoff, however.
- July 7 The primary race in Illinois’ 18th congressional district special election will be held. The expected Republican nominee, state Sen. Ray Lahood (son of former U.S. Tranpsortion Secretary Ray Lahood, who once held this very House seat) will likely go on to win the seat in the September 10 general election.
Happy Birthday To...
- June 12 George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the United States, is turning 90 years old.
- July 6 George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States, is turning 69 years old.
- August 4 Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, is turning 54 years old.
- August 19 Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, is turning 69 years old.
- August 14 Social Security; the agency marks 80 years from the signing of the Social Security Act, which authorized it.
- August 6 Jon Stewart’s last episode of “The Daily Show” will air. The Comedy Central satirical news program will be hosted by Trever Noah.
- What to Read I am always reading books about politics and history. Here are some that I read recently, or plan to read over summer vacation, listed in no particular order: Citizens of the Green Room (great satire of Washington, D.C.), Game Change (one of the best election books out there, a review of the 2008 race I have read many times), Believer (Obama strategist David Axelrod’s memoir), True Compass (Ted Kennedy’s memoir, which I have read many times, recently after traveling to his Institute in Boston), If Kennedy Lived (an alternate history), The American Senate (a scholarly look at the world’s greatest deliberative body), All the President’s Men (a classic: the “Woodstein” Watergate reporting), Coolidge (on a lesser-known President), To America (a more personal read from historian Stephen E. Ambrose), Going Rogue (Sarah Palin’s memoir), and Indomitable Will (an oral history on the LBJ presidency).
- Some are memoirs or books on current events, others are histories of different time periods, one is even alternate history: all I recommend.
BONUS: What to Do
- Interested in history? Here’s the Wake Up To Politics guide to historical places to visit over the summer.
- Presidential Libraries NARA’s Presidential Libraries and Museums always top the list because I personally love them. Presidential libraries are museums solely dedicated to a specific president. NARA currently has one for each of the past 13 Presidents (and other organizations administer others). I have visited the Adams, Lincoln, Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton Libraries (some of them more than once), and they have all been great. More information on NARA libraries: http://www.archives.gov/presidential-libraries/
- Civil War This is the last year of the five-year Civil War sesquicentennial, and many battles are celebrating the 150th anniversary this summer. Battlefield visits are quite an experience, and I highly recommend them. To find a Civil War site near you, go to http://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/civilwar/.
August 31 Wake Up To Politics returns!!!!