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Obama goes back to Fort Hood

The Morning Line

Today in the Morning Line:

  • Obama speaks again after a tragedy
  • Hillary Clinton says Putin must be contained
  • Are some Republicans already taking the bait on women?
  • Start watching those House races

Obama goes back to Ft. Hood: President Obama attends yet another memorial service for a shooting at Ft. Hood Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET. He delivers remarks at 3:35 p.m. ET. (Obama was already scheduled to be in Texas for fundraising events in Houston Wednesday night and to speak Thursday at the LBJ Library commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights bill.) This is at least the 15th time the president has delivered remarks following a tragedy in just five years as president. A look back: Oklahoma tornadoes (May 2013), Boston bombing (April 2013), Texas fertilizer plant explosion (April 2013), Newtown shootings twice (Dec. 2012), Superstorm Sandy (Nov. 2012), Wisconsin Sikh Temple (Aug. 2012), Aurora, Colo., shootings twice (July 2012), Joplin, Mo., tornado twice (May 2011, 2012), Tucson shootings/Gabby Giffords (Jan. 2011), BP aftermath (June 2010), Ft. Hood (Nov. 2009). Here’s part of what he said the first time he spoke at a Ft. Hood memorial service: “Long after they are laid to rest — when the fighting has finished, and our nation has endured; when today’s servicemen and women are veterans, and their children have grown — it will be said that this generation believed under the most trying of tests; believed in perseverance — not just when it was easy, but when it was hard; that they paid the price and bore the burden to secure this nation, and stood up for the values that live in the hearts of all free peoples.”

Hillary Clinton’s tough words for Putin: Speaking of potential 2016 candidates, despite her “reset” button for Russia, Hillary Clinton was on the speakers’ circuit in the Bay Area in California and had some very tough words for Russia’s Vladimir Putin. She called him “a tough guy with a thin skin” and someone who “wants to renew the Russian Empire, in as far as that is possible.” She then said Putin “will go as far as he can go unless he is contained. I don’t believe Putin will be satisfied with Crimea.” Of course, HOW he would be contained is a different question, and that was not spelled out. She also reiterated on 2016, “I am thinking about it. I’m not going to make a decision for a while because I’m actually enjoying my life.” But THIS IS NOT NEWS. She has said this time and again. What she IS doing, however, in staking out a tough-sounding foreign policy that tells you more about her 2016 plans than anything she has said directly about 2016. That centrist/hawkish instinct, however, didn’t help her in 2008. Of course, she wound up with a real primary. And — for now — she doesn’t have one in 2016.

Taking the bait on women? We wrote yesterday that Democrats were trying to make Republicans take the bait on women’s issues. Well, Democrats are now highlighting comments by Mitch McConnell and Mike Huckabee. McConnell Tuesday took to the Senate floor in an effort to dismiss the Democratic narrative on women. But McConnell, the Republican Senate leader in a tough re-election fight against a woman, did so by calling it a “bizarre obsession” of Democrats and that “Democrats chose to ignore serious job creation ideas so they could blow a few kisses to their powerful pals on the left.” Tuesday night in Iowa — yes, Iowa — Huckabee, the 2008 Hawkeye State winner said, per the Des Moines Register’s Kathie Obradovich, that men like to go hunt and fish with other men while “women like to go to the restroom with other women.” This comes after Huckabee said in January that Democrats try to tell women “they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government.” The Paycheck Fairness Act is expected to come to the Senate floor Wednesday, but is unlikely to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.

2014 – Start watching those House races: It’s early, and the House is unlikely to change hands this cycle. But (for some of us) House races can be the most fascinating ones to watch. Two of those races emerged over the last couple of days — both are competitive districts that will see A LOT of money, and involve “elite” Democrats and military veteran Republicans. Colorado’s sixth congressional district could be the most expensive House race in the country at $25 million (there are governors’ races that won’t see that kind of cash). And in New York’s 19th congressional district in the Hudson Valley north of Manhattan, an enigmatic 27-year-old Democrat who is the husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes (now editor of The New Republic) has already spent $700,000 of his husband’s $700 million fortune. He’s got big-name consultants and glossy campaign ads, but is nowhere to be found.


  • Secret Service Director Julia Pierson is working to clean up the agency in reaction to drinking incidents during two recent presidential trips. Pierson’s efforts include stricter rules of conduct, reassignments for almost two dozen staff members and one demotion.
  • There’s a stat: Tom Edsall writes in The New York Times that “Demos, a liberal think tank, found that in the 2012 election cycle the 132 donors of $1 million or more to Super PACS gave a total of $396.3 million. Those 132 donors make up just over .000042 percent of the population of the United States. This is the constituency that, in the name of free speech, the Supreme Court has now more deeply empowered.”
  • The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to vote Wednesday to ask the Department of Justice to pursue criminal charges against former IRS employee Lois Lerner.
  • A new Quinnipiac poll found Governor Chris Christie’s job approval rating dropped to 49 percent. The poll also found that 56 percent of voters believe the investigation commissioned by the governor’s office to clear him of fault in the George Washington Bridge scandal was a “whitewash.”
  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is waiting for the right degree program from the University of Wisconsin’s online offerings so he can finish his college education. He dropped out of Marquette his senior year to take a job with the Red Cross.
  • Even Republicans pushing for immigration reform aren’t thrilled with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s comments last weekend that immigrants who come to this country illegally do so out of “an act of love.” Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, accused him of “pandering.” The Wall Street Journal editorial page disagrees, saying Bush has a better immigration message than the party did in 2012.
  • Sen. Mary Landrieu’s new position as chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee may make Louisianans think twice about voting the Democrat out of office, writes US News’ Lauren Fox.
  • Ending Spending PAC is on the air again in Georgia — not against Democrat Michelle Nunn this time, but attacking Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey, who’s resurfacing his ad in which he pledges to “repeal Obamacare” or go home after one term.
  • Aaron Miller, a Republican challenging Democratic Rep. Tim Walz in Minnesota’s first district is running, in part, so that his daughter won’t have to learn evolution in school.
  • A federal judge ruled Tuesday night that Louisiana must provide information to the Department of Justice about the racial background of students participating in their private school voucher program.
  • The White House is taking some heat for its illustrated depiction of working women.
  • Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif, is preparing legislation that would require all members of Congress to attend sexual harassment training. Speier’s new push comes just after a video revealed Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La., kissing one of his aides.
  • Oh, members and their charts… Rep. Chris Van Hollen, ranking member of the House Budget Committee, will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger chart today.
  • As Mr. Obama commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act in Austin this week, former aides to Lyndon Johnson are upset the president doesn’t mention their one-time boss more often.
  • Speaking at the Civil Rights Summit Tuesday, former President Jimmy Carter said too many people are complacent about “the still existing” racial disparity. Former President Bill Clinton will speak at the LBJ Presidential Library at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday.
  • Keep an eye on the Rundown blog for breaking news throughout the day, our home page for show segments, and follow @NewsHour for the latest.




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