|Ted Cruz's Long Day's Journey Into Night|
|Michael Falcone||Sep 25, 2013, 8:56 AM|
By MICHAEL FALCONE ( @michaelpfalcone )
ABC's JEFF ZELENY: So has Sen. Ted Cruz elevated - or alienated - himself during his all-nighter on the Senate floor? Yes and Yes. To conservative activists across America, he's a crusading firebrand willing to go to great lengths against Obamacare and anything else. But to many of his fellow Republicans, his rhetoric became more troubling as the night wore along. Why? He created a new level of purity for some Republicans seeking re-election who are facing primary challenges and being challenged on Obamacare. Take, for example, Sen. Lamar Alexander. He's already been forced to spend considerable money on TV, reminding Tennessee voters he voted against the health care law. It's agitating to some that Cruz is trying to reframe the rules of the debate by saying that unless senators stand with him now, they effectively support Obamacare.
ABC's RICK KLEIN: It's an old-school tactic with new-media results. Sen. Ted Cruz is the latest to grasp the power of talking and just not stopping - a sure way to energize your base, and separate yourself from your colleagues. There are no policy implications - and that's one of the main reasons other senators find it easy to hate. Cruz and his small band of allies spent much of the night (and morning) saying it wasn't about them. Of course, though, it was about them, and mostly about Cruz, even before Cruz's kids got a Dr. Seuss story read to them on C-SPAN 2. The personalities in government still matter. Cruz has seen his profile outside the Senate grow, even as his prospects for getting something done inside the Senate diminish.
ABC's DEVIN DWYER: The White House says a simple handshake between President Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani never materialized at the U.N. because the Iranians got cold feet. They were "the ones who had discomfort with it," an official said late Tuesday, because it would have been "controversial inside Iran." But reading between the lines, it appears Iran may have wanted something the Obama administration was unwilling to give: either a more substantive one-to-one "meeting" over economic sanctions and nuclear issues, or another specific concession in exchange. Asked directly several times if Iran had asked for something up front, an administration official told ABC News, "I wouldn't want to characterize their side of the discussions other than to say that, in our view, this wasn't a negotiation over substance. There was never going to be some type of agreement reached in the meeting in the first place. "
WHAT WE'RE WATCHING
RICK PERRY: SHUTTING DOWN GOVERNMENT IS NOT A GOOD OPTION. With a potential government shutdown looming in less than a week, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas said it would be "nonsensical" for his fellow Republicans to support any effort to bring government to a halt over the health care law. "I don't think it's a good option," Perry told "The Fine Print's" JEFF ZELENY. "There's still time to sit down and try to fix Obamacare." Perry stopped short of calling his fellow Texas Republican, Sen. Ted Cruz, wrong for leading the charge on Capitol Hill to defund the Affordable Care Act, but said it would be more productive to work toward putting "things into place that can fix Obamacare, like health savings accounts, like personal responsibility programs, giving states the flexibility to come up with programs that fit their populations." The Texas governor, who announced in July that he won't run for re-election, said he's leaving the door open for a possible presidential run in 2016. "Absolutely, it's an option," Perry said. "That will take care of itself sometime in the future." http://yhoo.it/1bbCWH3
SHUTDOWN COUNTDOWN: 5 DAYS TO GO.
By ABC's ARLETTE SAENZ and JEFF ZELENY
-WHERE THINGS STAND: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was speaking when you went to bed last night and he's still standing on the Senate floor. Senate rules require him to stop by noon, and the Senate will hold its first procedural vote on the continuing resolution in the afternoon.
-WHO'S SAYING WHAT: Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, floated a plan Tuesday which would change the deadline for the continuing resolution from Dec. 15 to Nov. 15., which Reid said he supports. Mikulski argued the current Dec. 15 time frame would result in senators delaying their work. "November 15 keeps the pressure on both of us, on both sides of the aisle, to get the job done," Mikulski said. Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said it would be up to the majority leader and speaker of the House to decide on that, but he repeated his stance that he will not vote in favor of cloture. "I just don't happen to think filibustering a bill that defunds Obamacare is the best route to defunding Obamacare," McConnell said.
-WHERE THINGS ARE HEADING: Reid and McConnell said they would be willing to accelerate the voting process but noted it takes just one senator to derail that effort. After their policy luncheons Tuesday, senators acknowledged that an agreement to speed up the process would likely not happen, meaning we're still looking at a final vote on the continuing resolution on Sunday. But after last night, one question still remains. Will Cruz launch any more marathon speeches in the Senate this week?
WHY D.C. MAY GET TRASHY IF THE GOVERNMENT SHUTS DOWN. If the federal government shuts down next week, the nation's capital may have a trash problem on its hands, ABC's ABBY PHILLIP reports. Washington, D.C., is in the unenviable position of being treated like just another federal agency in the event of a government shutdown. Only "essential" employees are allowed to keep working, and that means some of the finer things in life won't continue for residents of the city. It's very likely that trash collection will stop for one week, street cleaning will be on hold indefinitely, public libraries and the Department of Motor Vehicles will all close on Oct. 1 until Congress fixes its budget problems. That prospect has D.C. city officials, who for years have been peeved that Congress controls the city's purse strings, pretty upset. D.C. City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson told ABC News that the council would meet next week to pass a resolution that keeps the government open - an act of "civil disobedience" - as Gray termed it in this morning's meeting, reported the Washington Post. "The sentiment was pretty clear that we want to do everything we can to keep the government open," Mendelson said in an interview. "And make it clear to Congress that the nation's capital cannot function with the current financial relationship that requires that Congress, which really could not care less about the District's budget, to have to approve the budget before we can spend it." http://abcn.ws/1dHdMxr
OBAMA, ROUHANI MEETING 'TOO COMPLICATED' FOR IRAN. President Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani didn't have a historic meeting, or any other informal encounter, during the annual United Nations session after all, ABC's DEVIN DWYER reports. Two senior administration officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said that a meeting proved "too complicated for Iranians to do at this point." They did not explain what the complications were. The White House had signaled for days that an informal meeting, even a handshake, between the leaders was possible. Aides confirmed that the administration proposed such a "discussion on the margins" to the Iranians but were rebuffed. "It was clear that it was too complicated for them," one official said. The officials reiterated that a formal bilateral meeting or negotiation between Obama and Rouhani was never on the table. Still, the Obama administration signaled yesterday that it wants to move forward with a new round of diplomacy with Iran, affirming a meeting Thursday in New York between Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zafir. "That is where this [nuclear issue] would be resolved," said one official. "We would never have a negotiation at this point at the presidential level on the substance of any nuclear agreement. The negotiation is going to take place at the foreign minister level and it's going to take place through the P5-plus-1 process. And that's going to go forward later this week." http://abcn.ws/16oMZ9V
NOTED: IRAN SAYS WE'RE NO THREAT, WARNS AGAINST SYRIA STRIKES. In his first public address on the global stage at the United Nations, new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had a message for President Obama: Iran poses no security threat to the world or the region. "In fact, in ideals as well as in actual practice, my country has been a harbinger of just peace and comprehensive security," Rouhani said yesterday, ABC's DANA HUGHES notes. Iran has no intention of developing a nuclear weapon, he added, something he has said repeatedly to U.S. media outlets over the last week in the run up to the U.N. Security Council. "Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction have no place in Iran's security and defense doctrine, and contradict our fundamental religious and ethical convictions," he told the world's leaders. "Our national interests make it imperative that we remove any and all reasonable concerns about Iran's peaceful nuclear program." He condemned the chemical weapons attack in Syria, saying that the common objective of the international community should be "a quick end to the killing of the innocent while condemning any use of chemical weapons." http://abcn.ws/18o76TB
BRAZIL'S PRESIDENT TRASHES U.S. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is incensed by the U.S.'s NSA surveillance programs, and yesterday she let her anger boil over on the world stage, ABC's DEVIN DWYER writes. In a scathing speech at the U.N., delivered moments before President Obama took to the podium, Rousseff accused the U.S. of violating international law and the fundamental values of democracy. "What we have before us, Mr. President, is a serious case of violation of human rights and civil liberties; a case of invasion and capture of confidential secret information pertaining to business activities; and above all, a case of disrespect to national sovereignty, the national sovereignty of my country," she told the General Assembly. "We have let the U.S. government know about our protest by demanding explanations, apologies and guarantees that such acts or procedures will never be repeated again," she added. http://abcn.ws/16XQW2N
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
BILL CLINTON ON BONO IMITATION: 'I MUST BE REALLY EASY TO MAKE FUN OF.' Turns out Bono is not just a globe-trotting rockstar and activist, he's a pretty good comedian too. The U2 frontman decided to have a little fun before a panel discussion at the annual Clinton Global Initiative gathering in New York on Tuesday - offering up an unexpected and hilarious impersonation of former President Bill Clinton, ABC's MICHAEL FALCONE notes. Capturing Clinton's signature Arkansas twang, Bono delivered a faux Clinton monologue: "When I first met Bono, he walked into the Oval Office and actually I thought he was a member of his own road crew. He wasn't dressed right. Actually, I felt like the rock star on that occasion." A visibly amused Clinton finally appeared on stage, smiled and said, "I must be really easy to make fun of." Bono appeared at the event - a meeting of world leaders, philanthropists, executives and others - sitting alongside Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, and Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, among others. WATCH: http://abcn.ws/19xJA4X
@joshtpm: Cruz/Paul effort to shape 2016 primary process around filibuster duration/game, devious plan to exploit Rubio's dehydration, bladder issues.