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• The L Word: Voters call Obama a liar
• Who else doesn’t believe Obama? Vladimir Putin
• Does Warren have a ‘fighting chance’ against Hillary?
• u mad bro?
• The name is Cocaine. Edward Cocaine
THE L-WORD: VOTERS CALL OBAMA A LIAR
As Democrats ramp up a midterm version of President Obama’s successful 2012 divide-and-conquer campaign strategy, a new poll shows the limits to that approach. The latest Fox News poll shows that voters have little trust in the president these days, with 61 percent of respondents saying Obama lies about significant issues “most of the time” or “some of the time.” That includes 38 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of independents. This survey goes beyond the conventional “honest and trustworthy” measurement common in polls and tests the loaded term “lie.” For so many to say that the president lies is a big deal in a country where trust in government continues to crater. But there’s a more pressing, practical concern for Democrats as they try to cling to a Senate majority. The Obama 2012 strategy relied on using the trust voters placed in him. Obama could vilify his rival and still claim the high ground because American voters were inclined to take him at his word. That redoubt is no longer accessible to him and his party.
[Fox News: “…those most likely to say Obama ‘never’ lies to the country on important matters: blacks (37 percent), Democrats (31 percent), liberals (28 percent) and women (19 percent).”]
All used up - Given the untruths that Obama has had to admit in the past two years, the numbers shouldn’t be entirely shocking. The president has admitted to lies he would no doubt call virtuous, like denying the existence of large-scale domestic surveillance operations. But he has also been forced to confess to repeatedly misleading voters about his health law (“If you like your health plan…). Even after trying to come clean, Obama was repeatedly called out for inflating ObamaCare enrollment numbers. Most recently, he and his team got busted using phony numbers to attack Republicans on gender pay. But the “lie of the year” on ObamaCare is the big one. It is unlikely that Obama would have gotten re-elected had he told the whole truth about looming insurance cancellations and doctor disruptions under his law. Safely returned to office, Obama could ‘fess up and there was little voters could do… to him at least. To the members of his party, though, there appears to be a serious price to be paid in November.
[Obama teams up with insurance execs - The Hill: “President Obama is scheduled to meet with health insurance executives and state insurance commissioners on Thursday, just two days after ObamaCare's special enrollment period officially closed. …The announcement of new enrollment figures was also expected separately on Thursday. It is possible Obama could reveal the numbers before one of the two meetings.”]
WHO ELSE DOESN’T BELIEVE OBAMA? VLADIMIR PUTIN
Reuters: “Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine's leaders… of committing a ‘grave crime’ by using the army to try to quell unrest in the east of the country, and did not rule out sending in Russian troops… The Kremlin chief said: ‘I really hope that I do not have to exercise this right and that we are able to solve all today's pressing issues via political and diplomatic means.’” Putin’s charge came as talks between Ukraine, Russia, the U.S., and the European Union continued in Geneva.
Major buzz kill, dude - In an interview Wednesday, President Obama claimed Russian military moves like the buzzing of a U.S. warship by Russian jets this week. Asked in an interview by CBS’s Major Garrett if he thought Putin was mocking him and the U.S. military, the president was dismissive. “They’re not interested in any kind of military confrontation with us, understanding that— our conventional forces are significantly superior to the Russians” he said.
MORE THAN 15,000 FEDS MADE OVER 200 GRAND LAST YEAR
National Journal: “Most of the discussion of pay for federal employees in recent months and years has been about insufficient or non-existent raises, pay gaps and budget shortfalls. Not all feds are making out so poorly, however. A new database compiled by FedSmith.com, using data from the Office of Personnel Management and other agencies, shows more than 15,000 federal employees earned at least $200,000 in 2013. That's roughly 1 percent of all federal workers on the list; some employees in national security positions were not included in the database.”
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...
The Atlantic’s Julie Beck takes us outside out comfort zones as she considers The Private Lives of Public Bathrooms: “Until the 1800’s, there was little expectation of privacy while using the bathroom. Economic prosperity and religious notions of modesty made the desire for a private space in which to do one’s business more widespread. Today, most people living in developed countries expect privacy in the bathroom. Paradoxically, most bathrooms outside of private homes are designed for multiple, simultaneous occupants.”
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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 43.6 percent//Disapprove – 51.6 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 30.7 percent//Wrong Track – 61.4 percent
Generic Congressional Ballot: Democrats – 41.8 percent// Republicans 39.3 percent
DOES WARREN HAVE A ‘FIGHTING CHANCE’ AGAINST HILLARY?
In sneak peak of the new book from liberal favorite Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., “A Fighting Chance,” the Boston Globe describes Warren’s back and forth with the big wigs of D.C. “Throughout the book, Warren casts herself as the dutiful outsider, persistently fighting the corruption and excess of Wall Street and battling to do the right thing in a capital filled with self-dealers and well-connected insiders. She also interweaves personal details, writing how she engaged in national policy debates while having nightly conversations with her pregnant daughter, or of running a high-profile campaign while dealing with the emotional toll of her ailing dog, Otis.” Warren had been on the job just one day before she bossed former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner like a “third-grade teacher” to wear a seat belt in a high profile SUV.
Trumka sounds ready for Warren - National Journal: “Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, America’s largest federation of labor unions, may be the most visible union leader in the country. And he’s certainly not shy about sharing his political opinions. In a Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ session, one user asked Trumka for his thoughts on Sen. Elizabeth Warren, ‘I have met Elizabeth Warren on multiple occasions,’ Trumka responded. ‘In my opinion, she is the prototype of a person we would want to be president of the United States. She has a very well-defined set of values and unlike many politicians, she actually sticks by those values and fights to implement them.’”
[Newly launched liberal encyclopedia Vox reminds readers of the possible friction between Warren and government worker unions. While she rejects the idea of school vouchers for private and religious schools, Warren has supported allowing families to choose among public schools.]
FOGGY BOTTOM STINT MAY CLOUD HILLARY’S CHANCES
NYT considers whether Hillary Clinton’s thin record as secretary of State combined with the repeated foreign policy setbacks for the nation since her departure could add up to a negative for the 2016 Democratic frontrunner. “From Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the grinding civil war in Syria to the latest impasse in the Middle East peace process, the turbulent world has frustrated [President Obama] and is now defying Mrs. Clinton’s attempts to articulate a tangible diplomatic legacy.”
Past tense - AP: “The National Archives is scheduled to release about 7,500 pages of documents on Friday from former President Bill Clinton’s administration. The records will cover a wide range of topics, including former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s role in health care reform, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and foreign policy involving Rwanda, Iran and the Middle East. Other topics will include papers from presidential speechwriters, meetings and phone calls between the president and his pollster, Stan Greenberg, and records related to director Steven Spielberg and talk show host Oprah Winfrey...”
But the polls say… - Fox News: “With 69 percent backing, Clinton remains more than 50 percentage points ahead of Vice President Joe Biden (14 percent) among self-identified Democrats.”
And Planet Hillary is always getting larger - National Journal: “Ready for Hillary…is hiring four regional directors to coordinate its on-the-ground organizing activities across the country as it builds support for a potential Hillary Clinton presidential run.
FOX POLL PUTS CHRISTIE, JEB AND PAUL IN TOP TIER
Fox News: “With about 20 months to go before the Iowa precinct caucuses, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul lead the pack for the Republican presidential nomination. … Three possible GOP candidates capture double-digit support among self-identified Republicans: Christie receives 15 percent, which puts him just ahead of Bush and Paul both at 14 percent. Next, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan receives nine percent, followed by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at eight percent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at seven percent, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum each at five percent.”
MARTINEZ SHOWS SALTY SIDE IN SECRET TAPES
US News: “The nation’s first female Hispanic governor has been lauded as a rising Republican star, burnishing a unique profile fit for a national ticket. But secret recordings obtained by the liberal magazine Mother Jones threaten to blemish her image before it’s even fully established. In candid conversations with her closest political aides that were published Wednesday, [Gov. Susana Martinez, R-N.M.,] dubs her 2010 Democratic opponent ‘that little bitch,’ complains that teachers ‘already don’t work … 2 1/2 months out of the year’”
Team Martinez responds - “Today, an extreme left-wing blog posted four-year-old material from private conversations undoubtedly sent to them by individuals or their allies who are either under federal indictment, or have had their homes raided by the FBI for their role in stealing or distributing Governor Susana Martinez’s email. That the national Left is trying to smear the first Hispanic woman governor in American history because they view her as a threat is about as surprising as the National Enquirer reporting that Elvis is still alive. Yes, the Governor used salty language in a private conversation four years ago with close advisers and will pay the appropriate penalty to the cuss jar. Governor Martinez will not be distracted by cheap political attacks and will remain focused on continuing to move New Mexico forward”
[Byron York’s take. In the end, did the Mother Jones story tell us much of anything about Susana Martinez? Well, it showed Martinez probably does make pretty large deposits in the cuss jar. Beyond that, it seems unlikely to have much of any effect on the governor of New Mexico or her future.]
CRUZ BACKS SHANNON IN OKLAHOMA SHOWDOWN
Breitbart: “Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) endorsed conservative Oklahoma Senate candidate T.W. Shannon on Wednesday… ‘T.W. Shannon is a strong Constitutional conservative who will fight for individual liberty and help turn our country around,’ Cruz said of his first endorsement of an open Senate seat in the 2014 midterm cycle. ‘T.W. embodies the American dream. I’m proud to offer T.W. my enthusiastic endorsement because not only will he vote the right way, but he’ll stand up and fight with us in the Senate to stop President Obama’s assault on our liberties and defend America’s founding principles.’ Shannon, considered the most conservative House Speaker in the history of the country's reddest state, closed a 35-point deficit in the polls to single digits in a poll taken days after [former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin's] endorsement. The Senate Conservatives Fund and Mark Levin have since endorsed him along with[Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah,] over Rep. James Lankford (R-OK), who has been accused of being cozy with the Republican leadership in Congress, in the race to replace retiring Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).”
NEBRASKA PRIMARY TURNS UGLIER
Nebraska’s Republican Senate primary has taken another nasty turn. The Lincoln Journal Star reports that just one day after frontrunner Shane Osborn took his attacks against top rival Ben Sasse to the airwaves in a spot trashing Sasse’s time as a health-insurance policy wonk in Bush administration, a Sasse-backed political-action committee launched a counterattack ad today highlighting the support to Osborn’s campaign from lobbyists aligned with the GOP Senate leadership. Three more weeks of nastiness before the primary might not be enough to put the Republican-held seat in play for the general election, but the presumptive Democratic nominee, deep-pocketed trial lawyer Dave Domina, is surely hoping that Osborn is ready with a counter-counterattack.
MANCHIN: ‘TWO GOOD CANDIDATES’ IN W.VA. SENATE RACE
Politico: “[Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.] supports Democrat Natalie Tennant in her run to replace the retiring West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller but questioned whether it is ‘morally right’ to ‘beat up’ on Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito in that race. He said the state has ‘two good candidates’ in the race — not exactly holding the party line.”
WARNER SIDESTEPS ON CAMPAIGNING WITH OBAMA
The Virginian-Pilot: “Incumbent [Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.] unchallenged for the Democratic nomination as he seeks re-election, played up his bipartisan bona fides before a largely Republican crowd in a nine-minute keynote address from the main stage at the event sponsored by the Wakefield Ruritan Club… He was politely received, minus a few hecklers. Warner ignored one who asked why he voted for President Barack Obama’s agenda 97 percent of the time; moments later he sidestepped a reporter’s question on whether he will campaign with Obama this year...”
KIRK SWINGS IN BEHIND GOP SENATE CANDIDATE
WJBC: “U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) is throwing his support behind Republican Senate candidate Jim Oberweis. Kirk said a month ago that he would not campaign for Oberweis, in order to protect his working relationship with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). ‘I will be campaigning for Jim Oberweis,’ he said on Tuesday….Durbin says the turnaround by Kirk is news to him. ‘He said he wasn’t going to campaign against me,’ Durbin said. ‘I called him and thanked him, and that’s where we left the conversation in Washington.’ Durbin is seeking a fourth term in the Senate. Oberweis ran for the Senate in 2002 and 2004, but lost the Republican primary both times. He is the Republican nominee this time.”
DAINES HITS ‘RICH ENVIRONMENTALISTS’
Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., is touting his success in fighting “rich environmentalists who tried locking up our land and our natural resources” in a new ad in his bid to beat Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont. Walsh was appointed to serve out the term of Max Baucus, the longtime Democratic Senator who left ahead of his retirement for a gig as U.S. ambassador to China. Daines’s ad echoes a growing Republican counterattack this year against Democratic patrons, like green-energy billionaire Tom Steyer.
[The Missoulian reports that former Lt. Gov. Walsh is facing a rockier road in his party’s June 3 primary. “Democrat Dirk Adams, a Wilsall rancher and attorney who’s one of two people challenging Walsh for the Democratic nomination, reported this week he has put an additional $205,000 of his own money into his campaign.”]
McConnell digs coal - A political action committee backing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell comes out swinging on the Obama administration’s global warming policies in a new spot in the coal-rich commonwealth.
Republicans need six more Senate seats to take control of the upper chamber. Which blue seats are the most vulnerable in this year’s midterms? The current consensus among Fox News First readers: Arkansas, Montana, Louisiana, South Dakota, North Carolina and West Virginia.
Hagan has fat first quarter - WaPo: “…Sen. Kay Hagan [D-N.C.]…. raised $2.8 million, more than double the leading Republican candidate, state House Speaker Thom Tillis…”
Obama delivers for Pelosi - The Hill: “President Obama’s fundraising efforts helped House Democrats bank more than $10 million in March, an aide with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) said Wednesday. According to the DCCC, the committee raised $10.3 million — more than any other March in its history. The committee has $40.2 million in the bank…That total was boosted by a presidential fundraiser at the home of Miami Heat legend Alonzo Mourning last month. Approximately 75 people attended the fundraiser, which also included an appearance from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Tickets ranged up to $16,200 per person and $32,400 per couple.”
[NYT: “…the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has raised $25 million online this cycle, and it doubled its online fund-raising from 2011 to 2013, according to a committee aide.”]
U MAD BRO?
Still smarting from conservative criticism after attending an anti-Tea Party gathering in Florida, partly funded by liberal billionaire George Soros, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was quick to publicly rebuke President Obama on immigration policy after a presidential phone call Wednesday. Cantor offered a public statement, called a “readout” by press flacks, akin to those offered by feuding world leaders after telephone calls. The White House expressed surprise saying it was just a friendly phone call wishing Cantor a happy Passover. But knowing how often the president and his political team have used immigration as a wedge issue against Republicans, the White House response sounded about as real as Easter grass.
Obama still talking about immigration - On “CBS This Morning” President Obama blames Congress for the inability to act and hopes once the primary season is over, Washington will “do the right thing” with an immigration policy. “I think it is very important for Congress to recognize that this is going to be an issue that haunts them until it gets solved. And we’ve got the possibility of a consensus in this country to solve it. What we need is some political courage and political will.”
THE JUDGE’S RULING: FREEDOM TO DIE, FREEDOM TO LIVE
A moving Easter message from Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano: “On the first Good Friday, the Romans executed Jesus because they were persuaded that by claiming to be the Son of God, He might foment a revolution against them. The revolution He fomented was in the hearts of men and women. The Romans had not heard of a revolution of the heart; nevertheless they feared a revolution that would disrupt their worldly power, and so they condemned Him to death by crucifixion.”
THE NAME IS COCAINE. EDWARD COCAINE
Ft. Lauderdale’s Sun Sentinel reports: ‘The judge did a double-take and there were giggles aplenty in bond court Wednesday when a bailiff announced the name of a man arrested for drug possession: Edward Cocaine. ‘What?’ uttered a stunned County Judge John ‘Jay’ Hurley. ‘My last name is Cocaine,’ proudly stated the man at the podium. His name was indeed legal and inscribed on his driver’s license. … The 34-year-old Ft. Lauderdale man, arrested Tuesday in Pembroke Pines, explained how he got his name. ‘My great-grandparents came over here from Greece and they changed it,’ he said. ‘That was like in the 1920s.’… And the drug he’s accused of possessing? Xanax.”
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily "Fox News First" political news note and hosts "Power Play," a feature video series, on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including "The Kelly File," "Special Report with Bret Baier," and "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace." He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.