|Obama Goes For The Guns|
|Michael Falcone||Feb 4, 2013, 9:21 AM|
Maqndel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
By MICHAEL FALCONE ( @michaelpfalcone )
ABC's RICK KLEIN: Harry Reid's mouth may be all the legislative reality-checking we need on guns. The Senate majority leader's take on gun control, as outlined on ABC's "This Week," stands as a decent handicapping of the battle ahead. Specifically, the realistic realm of possibility - the easy stuff, though it won't be all that easy - involves expanded background checks and limits on high-capacity clips. It's the assault-weapons ban - the one Reid, son of Nevada and holder of a B rating from the NRA - that may be a bridge too far. For President Obama and those pushing for more comprehensive gun-control measures, the question will be how hard to push for items that are long shots at best. Reid looms at the end of all pathways, guarding his own red-state members in addition to his own constituents.
ABC's MICHAEL FALCONE: Hillary Clinton knows how to work a rope line. As First Lady, as a presidential candidate and even on her last day as Secretary of State, she's proven it again and again. On Friday after offering brief farewell remarks at the State Department, she shook the hands of some of the several hundred employees who gathered to bid her farewell. A few even greeted her with a hand-made sign that read "Thank You!" And as ABC News State Department correspondent Dana Hughes noted, the crowd chanted, "2016! 2016! We'll miss you!" as Clinton drove away. From Friday's scene in Foggy Bottom to a campaign rally in Iowa or New Hampshire just a few years from now, it's not a giant leap to picture what another Clinton presidential campaign might look like. And then there was at least one prominent Democratic senator's not-so-subtle pitch for Clinton to run: "If her future plans include seeking the Presidency," Missouri's Claire McCaskill said in a statement on Friday, "which I hope they do, then I look forward to being on her team and working my heart out to see her elected."
ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE: President Obama heads to Minneapolis today to push his message of reducing gun violence. It comes after a weekend where we saw more devastating gun deaths. This time a high profile one that also calls into question mental health and post-traumatic stress disorder. Chris Kyle, known as the most lethal of snipers because of his target record, was more than just a good shot he was a mentor to troops returning home, especially those suffering from PTSD. He was doing just that on Saturday when the man he was trying to help turned his gun on him. It's a devastating loss and one of several just this week, including the death of a young girl in Chicago who was only home a few days after performing at the president's inauguration. Kyle's killing calls into question the National Rifle Association chief's statement after the tragedy in Newtown that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." Kyle was not just good, but great. It's clear questions around guns, mental health, and the devastation of PTSD need to be answered.
VIDEO OF THE DAY: PRO-CLINTON SUPER PAC ALREADY UP AND RUNNING. Hillary Clinton had not even stepped down from her post as Secretary of State, when a superPAC supporting her run for president in 2016 was filed with the Federal Election Commission. The superPAC's website launched over the weekend. Allida Black, who campaigned for Clinton in 14 states in 2008, is chair and founder of the group, and says she is, as the superPAC is named, "Ready for Hillary." "I've been waiting for Hillary all my life. But I am more than ready this time," Black told ABC's Jonathan Karl for the latest edition of the ABC-Yahoo Power Players series, "Politics Confidential." "I have no doubt she's gonna run," says Black. "She knows there's this huge groundswell. She sees the challenges. She's not gonna say no. Not because of her, but because of us." WATCH: http://yhoo.it/UmH3YW
HARRY REID: BUDGET DEAL MUST INCLUDE REVENUE. Asserting that "the American people" are on his side, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told ABC's George Stephanopoulos during an exclusive interview for "This Week" that any that deal reached between Republicans and Democrats to avoid the looming sequester must - "without any question" - include revenue. "The American people are on our side. The American people don't believe in these austere things. We believe that the rich should contribute. We believe we should fill those tax loopholes - get rid of them, I should say. And that's where we need to go," Reid said. "And I've got a pretty good fan base for that: the American people. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents." Reid confirmed his position on revenue would apply to any deal put into place to avert a government shutdown or lift the debt ceiling as well. This puts him directly at odds with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, who said earlier this month on "This Week" that the "tax issue is finished," But Reid - invoking the GOP's 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney - suggested a deal could include such things as the elimination of oil and gas subsidies, or what he called "low hanging fruit." The Nevada senator also pushed back when I asked if he was sidelined during the so called "fiscal cliff" negotiations, telling me he played the "bad cop" during that period. http://abcn.ws/Wng3qU
JORGE RAMOS: GOP FINALLY 'GETTING IT' ON IMMIGRATION. Jorge Ramos, Univision anchor and host of the public affairs program, "Al Punto," said "I think Republicans are finally getting it," regarding the power of the Hispanic vote. Ramos joined ABC News in a web exclusive interview with ABC's Kaye Foley before his appearance on the "This Week" roundtable on Sunday. With immigration at the forefront of the national conversation this week, Ramos discussed how supporting immigration reform can help Republicans, as well as his career influences, violence in Mexico, his upbringing, and his own journey to American citizenship. "After the election, when they realized their candidate didn't get 30 percent of the Hispanic vote, they understand that really they can't make it without the Hispanic vote. Actually, no one can make it to the White House without the Hispanic vote. And - unless Republicans support immigration reform, it's going to be impossible for them to get a high percentage of the Latino vote. So I think Latinos will recognize if they support immigration reform, but if many of them continue rejecting the idea that immigration reform is needed, it's going to be very difficult for them to get the Hispanic vote and they're going to lose the next election, and the next, and the next." http://abcn.ws/UPDDLY
IMMIGRATION REFORM: THE FOX NEWS FACTOR. In the brewing battle over a path to citizenship for the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants, Fox News Channel is uniquely positioned to play a make-or-break role. The question is, will it? Advocates on both sides of a proposed U.S. immigration overhaul are closely eyeing the nation's most-watched cable news network - and megaphone - for politically-conservative causes as it joins a rapidly escalating national debate. Will the network and its high-profile opinionators fan the flames of opposition to a comprehensive reform plan, or will it assume a more neutral role in a debate that does not break cleanly along party lines? Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO at News Corp., Fox's parent company, is the wild card factor in which way Fox News will go. Whether Murdoch's personal views will percolate through his network, or at least temper criticism on the airwaves of those who don't share it, remains to be seen. "It depends on how prepared he is to muzzle people on Fox," said Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform and frequent Fox News guest, who opposes the widespread legalization proposed by President Obama and a bipartisan group of U.S. senators this week. Mehlman and other Republican critics of what they call an "amnesty" plan believe Fox News could be a crucial ally in the battle for public opinion on immigration. They credit Fox News with helping to amplify their message and derail a similar legislative push that was backed mostly by Democrats and President George W. Bush in 2006 and 2007. http://abcn.ws/WliM4k
IT'S NOT JUST GERALDO WHO'S EYING A NEW JERSEY SENATE SEAT… Who's the latest candidate to make some baby steps toward a run in New Jersey for U.S. Senate? "Buckle your seat belts," as he told his radio listeners Thursday, its Fox News host and longtime media personality Geraldo Rivera. He went on Fox News Friday to explain the decision, saying he's a Republican because of fiscal issues, not social ones. Rivera, 69, notes: "I believe in immigration reform. I believe in gay rights and gay marriage. I believe in choice. Not obscenely, but I believe in Roe vs. Wade." And who are his possible opponents? ABC's Shushannah Walshe takes a look at some of the top names: http://abcn.ws/VA2N3J
IN THE NOTE'S INBOX:
-EMILY'S LIST ANNOUNCES NEW LEADERSHIP. Today, Emily's List President Stephanie Schriock announced new senior staff hires, and "a restructured political arm designed to recruit even more pro-choice Democratic women" to run for office. Campaigns Director - Jonathan Parker, who most recently managed the Political Department of Emily's List, overseeing historic gains of pro-choice Democratic women in Congress. Political Director - Denise Feriozzi, who served as WOMEN VOTE! Director from 2010 through 2012, overseeing Emily's List's largest independent expenditure in its history, mobilizing women voters in 17 states, and winning 89% of targeted races on Nov 6. Communications Director - Jess McIntosh, who served as Deputy Communications Director at Emily's List from 2010 through 2012. She previously worked as spokesperson for Sen. Al Franken through his campaign, recount, subsequent election contests and first year in the Senate. Research Director - Kate Black, who spent the 2012 election cycle managing the research department at Emily's List as Deputy Director for Research and Communications, where she conducted first-of-its kind research on the impact of women in office. Executive Director Amy Dacey and Development Director Amalia Stott will remain in their positions.
@jimacostacnn: Interesting that for guns speech, Obama heads to Minneapolis.. where his pick for ATF - Todd Jones - is now US atty