By MICHAEL FALCONE (@michaelpfalcone)
- TODAY AT THE WHITE HOUSE: The White House is mounting a major media blitz today around its first-ever “Working Families Summit,” ABC’s DEVIN DWYER notes. President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will all attend and speak. The Council of Economic Advisers is out with two new reports to help trumpet the cause: “The Economics of Paid and Unpaid Leave,” and “Nine Facts about American Families and Work.” A series of panels and presentations will highlight “best practices” among public and private employers for providing greater flexibility to workers as they balance the demands of job and family. The “announcements” the president will make are very small ball: He’ll sign a memo to direct federal agencies to do what they’re already supposed to be doing in terms of workplace flexibility; he’ll go on record supporting a bill that would require employers to make reasonable accommodations to workers who have “limitations from pregnancy, childbirth or other medical conditions;” and the Labor Department will unveil a new interactive online map that will outline rights for pregnant women by state, among other things.
- GOP COUNTER-PROGRAMMING: From House Speaker John Boehner’s blog: “Today, President Obama will host a summit on working families that the White House says will focus ‘on creating a 21st century workplace that works for all Americans.’ Trouble is, too many middle-class families aren’t working at all. And those that are lucky enough to have a job are barely getting by with stagnant wages and higher costs on nearly everything. … While House Republicans are focused on expanding opportunity and economic security for middle-class families, President Obama’s policies are only making things harder. Here’s how: http://1.usa.gov/1qsEfFA“
- COMING UP: On Wednesday Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will deliver a speech, “Finding Economic Security in an Insecure Time,” in which he will “outline reform conservative ideas to address the rising cost of living plaguing middle class families. Rubio will highlight ways his policy proposals from this year would impact his constituents. His speech will draw from real life examples in his home state of Florida,” according to his office. The event takes place at Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center in Washington, DC at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
ABC’s RICK KLEIN: Stand with Rand, or stick with Dick? Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s disagreements with President Obama on national-security issues is well-known and well-documented – and unwilling to actually impact an election. But Cheney’s split with Sen. Rand Paul, on the other hand, will be a defining fight for 2016, long before a general election makes it a D vs. R issue. “Basically an isolationist” is what Cheney said of Paul on ABC’s “This Week” yesterday. “He doesn’t believe we ought to be involved in that part of the world,” Cheney told Jonathan Karl. Regarding the current crisis in Iraq, Paul said on CNN that he’s skeptical of renewed US involvement at this stage: “I don’t believe ISIS is, in the middle of a fight right now, thinking, ‘Hmm we should send intercontinental missiles to America.’” From calls for military involvement to surveillance techniques and treatment of terrorism suspects, the Cheney vs. Paul competing visions figure to dominate discussions around the future of the Republican Party.
ABC’s SHUSHANNAH WALSHE: One thing we definitely know is true: it’s way too early for 2016 presidential polls. It’s all name recognition at this point, but we can also agree they are still quite fun. In a 2016 Iowa poll out today from Quinnipiac University, Hillary Clinton leads her closest opponent Rand Paul 46 to 40 percent. 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan has the same spread as Paul with Clinton coming in at 47 percent and he has 41 percent. 2008 winner of the Iowa caucuses Mike Huckabee has 39 percent to Clinton’s 46 percent. Before the Bridgegate scandal, Christie led Clinton in this poll, but now he comes in 36 percent to Clinton’s 44 percent. This is very close to their March survey when the separation between the same two was 48 to 35 percent. At least on the Republican side the field is way open and as we saw in the many ups and downs of the 2012 Iowa race where every candidate had their burst of popularity it’s not only too early now, we often can’t tell the winner when we are in the heat of it. Who thought Rick Santorum would be the winner one month before Iowans went to caucus?
with ABC’s SCOTT WILSON
DICK CHENEY ON IRAQ, RAND PAUL. Republican Sen. Rand Paul is “basically an isolationist,” according to former Vice President Dick Cheney, who expressed his concern with the idea of the Kentucky senator being the GOP nominee during the next presidential cycle, according to ABC’s BENJAMIN BELL. “Now, Rand Paul and — by my standards, as I look at his — his philosophy, is basically an isolationist,” Cheney told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl yesterday on “This Week.” “That didn’t work in the 1930s, it sure as heck won’t work in the aftermath of 9/11, when 19 guys armed with airline tickets and box cutters came all the way from Afghanistan and killed 3,000 of our citizens.” Cheney said he believes its essential that the United States is involved in the Middle East. But Cheney dismissed criticism of his own prior statements and actions on the Iraq War, saying during the interview “if we spend our time debating what happened 11 or 12 years ago, we’re going to miss the threat that is growing and that we do face.” http://abcn.ws/1p6INUO
WHY SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR DOES NOT SAY ‘ILLEGAL ALIEN.’ According to Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, “everyone but everyone breaks the law,” but that doesn’t mean she thinks everyone should be negatively labeled for all questionable actions, ABC’s ALISA WIERSEMA reports. In an interview with ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS for “This Week,” Sotomayor explained how this reasoning extended to her choice to use the word “undocumented” instead of “illegal alien” when referring to the immigration debate in a recent Supreme Court opinion. “We all break laws… I can’t say consciously, unconsciously, because most laws require intent… yet we don’t think of ourselves as criminal,” Sotomayor said. “It’s the label, and labels lead to impressions about criminality, which often is so negative that we’ve stopped thinking about the reason.” “Yes, I don’t deny that they’re breaking the law, or else their cases wouldn’t come to us,” she said. “But I think we should not write or be painting labels that say more than the situation calls for.” http://abcn.ws/1lJzJTG
WILL 2016 PRESIDENTIAL RUN HURT SCOTT WALKER’S BID FOR GOVERNOR? Of all the names on the 2016 GOP presidential shortlist, only Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker must win a tough re-election fight in his home state before setting his sights on the White House, notes ABC’s BENJAMIN SIEGEL. Even as Walker fights backlash from new revelations surrounding allegations of illegal campaign coordination, his path to the White House raises a new question: Will the talk of 2016 hurt his re-election chances this November? Walker has said his focus remains on 2014, but told ABC News in November he would not commit to serving out a full second term as governor. In the governor’s race, Walker’s Democratic challenger, former state Commerce Secretary Mary Burke, has never been elected to statewide office. But a recent poll from Marquette University Law School shows the two in a dead heat. The poll also found that just 27 percent of respondents want Walker to run for president in 2016, and that 31 percent believe a governor could run for president and “still handle their duties as governor.” http://abcn.ws/1su40JP
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
UNDERWHELMING SUPPORT FOR ERIC CANTOR TO DANCE WITH THE STARS Republicans may have to come to terms with never seeing Eric Cantor as Speaker of the House, but the public will likely have to come to terms with never seeing Cantor dancing the samba dressed in sequins, ABC’s ALISA WIERSEMA notes. According to what is described as “the most important petition of all in the history of petitions” on Change.org, a free online petition website, Cantor is failing to garner enough support to be included on next season’s cast of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” despite sound arguments in his favor by main petitioner Sara Benincasa. “If Tom DeLay can do it, Eric Cantor can freaking rock this show,” Benincasa wrote. “Eric Cantor is a total babe who probably has sweet moves on the dance floor. Four days after being published, the petition is still 99,911 shy of the necessary 100,000 for the 51-year-old Republican “babe” to be the second House Majority Leader to shimmy into the spotlight. http://abcn.ws/1pRwXNP
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
WOUNDED WARRIOR REP. DUCKWORTH ‘APPALLED’ BY IRAQ’S SPIRAL INTO VIOLENCE. Rep. Tammy Duckworth is no stranger to realities of the Iraq war. She lives with the consequences every day, as a veteran who lost both legs when the National Guard helicopter she was piloting was shot down in Iraq. And as President Obama prepares to send up to 300 Special Forces troops to advise the Iraqi military in its effort to combat the militant Islamist group ISIS, the Illinois Democrat said she is “disheartened.” “I’m pretty appalled that the Iraqi military just abandoned their post after all of the time that American forces invested in training them…in both training but also arming them and equipping them,” Duckworth told “The Fine Print.” “This is also a tragedy for the American people with all of the resources we put into that nation, as well as all the men and women who served in uniform there,” she added. WATCH: http://yhoo.it/1q0JbUB
@mlcalderone: Three Obama campaign advisers, speaking anonymously “to avoid alienating the Clintons,” say Hillary’s out-of-touch: http://wapo.st/1lhpuEY
@DLeonhardt: Two bits of conventional wisdom about the Mississippi runoff are a bit too conventional. @Nate_Cohn: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/24/upshot/how-mississippis-runoff-defies-conventional-wisdom.html?rref=upshot …
@KariLynneRea: A day in the life of a journalist in #Baghdad, from @MarthaRaddatz (on her 23rd trip to Iraq) & the @ABC team: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/06/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-journalist-in-baghdad/ …
@ruthreichl: Radiant morning. Summer’s here. Butterflies fluttering, birds singing, turkeys strutting. Cold lemonade. Warm toast. Fresh apricot jam.