Obama’s Show-Me-The-Money Tour

Nov 26, 2013 8:51am

By MICHAEL FALCONE (@michaelpfalcone)

NOTABLES 

  • ‘BETTER LATE THAN NEVER’: In Washington, D.C., things aren’t going very well for President Obama. But hundreds of miles away as he jets up and down the West Coast, he is playing to one of his greatest remaining strengths: raising money, ABC’s ABBY PHILLIP notes. Obama’s three-day fundraising tour to bolster Democratic Party committee coffers for the 2014 election cycle is perhaps the one sure-fire way the president can help his party at a time when the political atmosphere has turned dangerously toxic for any candidate with a “D” next to their name. “It’s kind of better late than never,” said Jim Manley, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and a Democratic strategist with QGA Public Affairs. “There are a whole bunch of Democrats on the Hill who wish he had done more in years past.” http://abcn.ws/1bklnDZ
  • THE TOUR ISN’T WITHOUT PITFALLS: Silicon Valley CEOs have dumped tens of thousands of their own money to boost Obama and independently lobby for immigration reform. Yet he’ll be shaking them down for money with just about nothing to show for it, PHILLIP notes. The prospects of an immigration bill passing through the House of Representatives are slim. Though Democratic officials downplay the significance, tickets to one of Obama’s fundraisers yesterday were deeply discounted the San Francisco Chronicle reported last week. And at an event on immigration reform in San Francisco yesterday, Obama was heckled by pro-immigration reform activists who pressured him to end the deportations, while Congress is stalled on reform. http://abcn.ws/1bklnDZ
  • NOTED: Yesterday, President Obama met with the family of Gerado Hernandez who was killed during the LAX security breach earlier this month, ABC’s JON GARCIA reports. He also met with two other TSA officers, Tony Grigsby and James Speer, who were wounded in the incident. The meeting took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel just before Obama headed to raise money for Democrats. Obama will visit Dreamworks Studios today to talk about the economy and immigration. 

 

THE ROUNDTABLE

ABC’s RICK KLEIN: Among the very many reasons this week’s HealthCare.gov deadline is very, very important? The law may actually be working as intended.  That, as least, is the impression one might get reading local coverage of Obamacare’s rollout, owing in part to a White House strategy to target local media instead of national outlets, as Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown and Reid Epstein report. The jury will be out until more federal numbers roll in, and probably well beyond that. But there are at least green shoots for the Obama administration, sprigs worth tending to as the rollout continues. But there’s no way to gain credibility back without a functional Website. That’s what makes this a high-stakes holiday week for the White House, perhaps the last best chance this year to restore a measure of faith in a signature initiative. http://politi.co/1c6i7uD

ABC’s SHUSHANNAH WALSHE: A week after the very public family feud between Liz Cheney and her sister Mary over same sex marriage, the Wyoming Senate candidate has released a new television ad. It’s not called “Sisters,” but “Daughters” and she’s trying to do a few things with it: change the subject, make sure Wyoming voters understand she still has a close family, and once again try to dispel the carpetbagger charges. Liz Cheney is trying to unseat incumbent GOP Sen. Mike Enzi and in this new bio ad featuring Cheney’s three daughters one says they are “proud of their family’s deep roots” in Wyoming and each daughter takes a turn stressing their Wyoming roots. “Our family first came here in 1852 walking the Mormon Trail,” one daughter says at beginning. “We’re proud of our family’s deep roots in Wyoming,” another daughter says. “We’re proud of our grandma and our grandpa,” another says over a photo of Dick and Lynne Cheney. “He was vice president of the United States.” The carpetbagger charges seem to be the one most likely to stick to Cheney and why she has been trying to stress her roots in both ads and on the trail. Her campaign also announced yesterday  that her children will be writing a blog on her campaign website, something the Romney boys did in 2007-2008 and Megan McCain did as well during that same cycle. WATCH: http://bit.ly/17VDm2Y

 

IRAN CHECKLIST: WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN (AND WHAT COULD GO WRONG). The deal is done: Iran has agreed to pause its nuclear program in exchange for some relief from international sanctions imposed by world powers, including the United States. As it was advertised by the Obama administration, the deal is merely a “first step,” designed to create six months of breathing room, during which Iran does not progress any closer to a nuclear weapon, and the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the European Union demonstrate their own willingness to deal by lifting some of the economic penalties they’ve levied on Iran to discourage its nuclear ambitions. Over the next six months, Iran and world powers will negotiate toward a deal hat would guarantee Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful, in exchange for a removal of all nuclear-related sanctions. That basic framework is spelled out in the preliminary agreement reached over the weekend. But the deal could be tricky to implement, and a lot could go wrong along the way. Here’s what has to happen and what could derail this progress, according to ABC’S CHRIS GOOD: http://abcn.ws/1bkvPvf

 

BUZZ

SNEAK PEEK: GOP TARGETS BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPERS IN STATES WITH CRITICAL 2014 SENATE RACES. Attention shoppers: You may be getting more than a deal when you go bargain hunting on Black Friday. The National Republican Senatorial Committee is launching an online and grassroots ad campaign today targeting shoppers in states with critical 2014 Senate elections, ABC’s SHUSHANNAH WALSHE reports. Customers out looking for deals may have more than just a leaflet featuring a discount television set on their windshield. Republican volunteers will be putting flyers on cars outside of shopping centers slamming Democratic candidates on the Affordable Care Act. The flyer ads, as well as an online ad campaign targeting Internet shoppers, will attack Democratic incumbent senators running for re-election in Louisiana and Alaska, and Democratic candidates running for open Senate seats in Michigan, Iowa and Georgia. ABC News was given an exclusive sneak peak of the ad campaign and the NRSC says the effort is “designed to stave off efforts by these Democrats to distance themselves from the unpopular law.” One of the flyers targeting Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, looks like a discount ad with the text “Black Friday Sell Out!!!” at the top with a picture of Begich next to the words “Mark Begich’s Obamacare.” On the reverse the ad reads in red and white, “Mark Begich Misled Alaskans” and in candy cane print “Alaskans Deserve a Refund.” The NRSC would not comment on how much money they are putting into the effort, but describe it as a “significant five figure” buy “targeting specific audiences on popular shopping and social media sites.” http://abcn.ws/1jFp7zg

OBAMA ENGAGES HECKLER ON IMMIGRATION REFORM. Engaging with a protester at his immigration event in San Francisco yesterday, President Obama said reforming the system “won’t be as easy as just shouting” as he urged House Republicans to take action, ABC’s MARY BRUCE writes. A man standing on the riser behind the president interrupted Obama as he was wrapping up his remarks, yelling for him to use his executive power to halt deportations. “You have a power to stop deportation for all,” the man shouted. “Actually, I don’t,” the president shot back. “And that’s why we’re here.” “If in fact I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so. But we’re also a nation of laws. That’s part of our tradition,” the president said, once the heckler quieted down. “The easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like I can do something by violating our laws. And what I’m proposing is the harder path, which is to use our democratic processes to achieve the same goal that you want to achieve. But it won’t be as easy as just shouting. It requires us lobbying and getting it done,” he said. “For those of you who are committed to getting this done, I am going to march with you and fight with you every step of the way.” VIDEO: http://abcn.ws/17VwTVv

–BACKSTORY: The protester, an undocumented immigrant from South Korea who is a graduate student studying in San Francisco, told ABC News that his grandfather died recently and he could not go home for the funeral because of his immigration status.

SUPREME COURT MAY REVIEW OBAMACARE CONTRACEPTION MANDATE. Supreme Court Justices will meet behind closed doors today to discuss several challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s so-called contraception mandate. We could hear as early as tomorrow whether the court will step in and hear one of the cases. It is very likely that it will, ABC’s ARIANE DE VOGUE reports. Lower courts have split on the issue and the solicitor general has asked the court to resolve the dispute. Although there are several cases before the court, it is most likely that it will hear a challenge brought by Hobby Lobby, a craft store chain with about 13,000 employees. It is owned by the Green family who argue that the law violates its religious beliefs. Regulations implementing the Affordable Care Act compel certain employers to provide health-insurance coverage for FDA approved contraceptives. The Green family has no moral objection to the use of 16 of 20 preventive contraceptives required in the mandate but it says it cannot provide or pay for four of the drugs including Plan B and Ella, the so-called morning-after pill and the week-after pill. http://abcn.ws/17VwTVv

FILIBUSTER REFORM’S BIGGEST WINNERS. Last week’s landmark Senate vote to effectively eliminate the filibuster of presidential nominees opens the door to a wave of likely confirmations for President Obama. Gone are the days when 60 votes are needed to move ahead on a nominee. Now, a simple majority of 51 votes is all it takes for confirmation. Here’s a list of key Obama administration appointees who stand to benefit the most from last week’s historic Senate rules change, courtesy of ABC’s ALEX LAZAR: http://abcn.ws/1bkjkQo

DEADLINE NEARS TO FIX OBAMACARE WEBSITE, BUT WARNINGS OF GLITCHES PERSIST. The Nov. 30 deadline to get HealthCare.gov up and running is less than a week away, and while the rest of Washington is getting ready to depart for the Thanksgiving holiday, the site’s tech-surge team will continue to work close to “24/7″ to get the site in shape, ABC’s SERENA MARSHALL notes. Perhaps purposely lowering expectations after promising a fully functional website by the end of November, the Department of Human and Health Services is now saying the glitches and problems are not over. “The system will not work perfectly on Dec. 1, but it will operate much better than it did in October,” Julie Bataille, director for the Office of Communications at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, said Monday on a conference call with reporters. By the end of the month, the website will be able to sustain the numbers that had originally been planned for — 50,000 users on the site simultaneously. That translates to approximately 800,000 visits a day from consumers. http://abcn.ws/1bkjjvJ

BUT CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: “As we move forward, we will find additional glitches and experience intermittent periods of suboptimal performance,” said Bataille.  “As we make these improvements, we expect to see intermittent periods when the system may be slow or not responsive. But we’ve made measurable progress and we are moving forward.”

U.S. MILITARY TO CONTINUE FLIGHTS IN AIR DEFENSE ZONE CLAIMED BY CHINA. U.S. military aircraft will not change how they conduct operations in the East China Sea despite China’s announcement that it has established an air defense zone over those waters, Pentagon officials said yesterday, according to ABC’s LUIS MARTINEZ. U.S. officials have said they are “deeply concerned” about China’s move and labeled it destabilizing for the region. China’s Defense Ministry announced on Saturday the establishment of an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the waters of the East China Sea to protect against “potential air threats.” The zone stretches from South Korea to Taiwan and includes the disputed Senkaku Islands, which are administered by Japan, but which China claims as its territory and calls the Diaoyu Islands. The ministry said in a statement that it would require aircraft entering the zone to provide flight plans to Chinese authorities, display logos clearly, maintain radio contact with them and keep its transponders on while transiting the area. http://abcn.ws/1elMKLU

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

U.S. CAPITOL CHRISTMAS TREE WRESTLED INTO PLACE. The 50th annual Capitol Christmas Tree arrived at the U.S. Capitol yesterday after traveling more than 2,500 miles from Colville National Forest in northeast Washington, but the Engelmann spruce seemed stuck to its moorings, ABC’s JOHN PARKINSON writes. When workers attempted to remove the 88-foot tree with a crane from a flatbed trailer, the tree’s trunk appeared to be jammed into a stand that held it in place while it was transported. The alarming sound of wood snapping temporarily halted action while workers drained a tub of water feeding the massive tree. After some extended wiggling, twisting and improvisation, workers were finally able to hoist the tree free and position it on the West Front of the Capitol. It’s Washington state’s second Capitol Christmas Tree and the second-tallest tree the Capitol has ever erected.  http://abcn.ws/1eutgWf

 

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING 

HORROR AND HEROISM: 5 YEARS AFTER THE MUMBAI ATTACKS, A VIEW FROM INSIDE THE TAJ HOTEL. Five years ago today, the Pakistani-based Islamist organization Lashkar e-Taiba launched a series of coordinated attacks across Mumbai, India – killing more than 160 people and injuring hundreds more. The attack amounted to a harrowing three-day-long ordeal for those who were trapped inside the world renowned luxury Taj Hotel – one of the primary targets. And a new investigative book, “The Siege: 68 Hours Inside the Taj Hotel,” tells many of their stories in meticulous detail. “The heroes of this piece, and there were plenty of heroes, were the ordinary, poorly paid Taj staffers, who miraculously decided to fight back, and a couple of other guests who behaved in an incredibly heroic fashion,” said co-author Adrian Levy. Levy, and his co-author Cathy Scott-Clark, told “On the Radar’s” MARTHA RADDATZ of an active duty U.S. Marine captain, Ravi Dharnidharka, who was dining on the top floor of the hotel when the attack began, and sprang into action. “He realized very quickly from his training that, as an American soldier, he would be a prime target for any sort of hostage taking so he ripped up all of his identification papers,” Scott-Clark said. http://yhoo.it/1dxXASK

 

WHO’S TWEETING?

@rollcall: Politics as Family Business: When Bad Moods Get in the Way of Big Dynasties http://roll.cl/17UEOlX  via @davidhawking

@ThePlumLineGS: Q poll: Majorities in Ohio approve of Medicaid expansion; only Rs oppose: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/institutes-and-centers/polling-institute/ohio/release-detail?ReleaseID=1982 …

@camanpour: For ppl of Tehran Iran talks “first time in almost a decade that they’re hearing something positive” -@ThomasErdbrink http://cnn.it/1elbNir 

@gwenifill: Thanks @stefcutter for this great tribute to an amazing reporter who was an even better human. http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/passionate-reporter-always-true-to-public-service-100315.html … #RobinToner

@AaronBlakeWP: Al Gore goes vegan, with little fanfare http://wapo.st/1cpKzWu 

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