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• Peace prize winner to explain bombing campaign in seventh Muslim nation
• For vulnerable Dems, ‘whatever I can’ means ‘stay away’
• Crossroads unloads on Udall
• Jeb in the Carolinas
• Oligarch bubble wrap
PEACE PRIZE WINNER TO EXPLAIN BOMBING CAMPAIGN IN SEVENTH MUSLIM NATION
It’s been two weeks since President Obama announced his plan to expand the U.S. bombing campaign against Islamist militants in Iraq to targets across the Syrian border and to increase arms shipments to rival factions in Syria’s civil war. But today is the day that he has promised to provide some context and details of the new military campaign, which remains a point of great concern across the political spectrum. The move to announce and eventually commence an escalated air war against the Islamist army known as ISIS may have stopped Obama’s recent slide in support, which intensified after Obama’s ill-advised Aug. 20 golf outing following a statement in which he said he was “heartbroken” about the beheading of an American captive. But misgivings abound. Today, the president gives the speech at the United Nations that Obama and his team have said would provide the context and details for this new military campaign.
[We hope it was at least an Americano - Daily Caller: “President Barack Obama returned a formal military salute with a one-handed coffee-cup salute Tuesday, only a few hours after he dispatched the nation’s military on their attack mission into northern Syria. White House aides posted the sloppy salute video on Instagram.”]
Neither fish nor foul - The administration has set huge expectations for the president’s speech today in a bid to buy time to work out some kind of strategy that might appease voters who still believe that the president begins this latest military mission without a clear aim toward victory. Those opposed to military intervention see the president stumbling to war under political pressure while more hawkish Americans are deeply skeptical that Obama will actually reverse his prior mistakes in Libya and Afghanistan and commit the resources and energy necessary to make the Syria war a success.
[Time: “Barack Obama’s war against ISIS has come a long way from Sinjar Mountain…. warfare has pulled hard at Obama ever since. And the record so far leaves little reason to think it’s finished with him.”]
Tough crowd - But the venue the president has chosen to lay out his vision for the war will make his task much harder. It must have sounded good when his team was in full damage-control mode to buy a bit of time and push questions forward to a grand address in a grand setting. When we see the advance hints at what the president will say, however, we get a clear sense that he is not comfortable drawing hard lines in front of an international community. Remember, the majority at the UN is deeply resentful of American power, and the international community that once saw Obama as a departure from decades of past American militarism and celebrated his coming as a repudiation of the past is not going to cheer at the news of more air strikes. If the president gets up and makes what sounds like a scattershot approach – sweeping by Ebola, global warming and income inequality – he might mute the anxieties of his audience in New York, but he will certainly leave Americans more skeptical.
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...
Happy birthday, Supreme Court! The Judiciary Act landed on President George Washington’s desk on this day in 1789. With his signature, Washington established the tribunal made up of six, not nine, justices who were to serve on the court until death or retirement. The first set of judges included John Jay as chief justice, and John Rutledge, William Cushing, John Blair, Robert Harrison, and James Wilson to be associate justices. All of the appointments were confirmed by the Senate in just two days. The first term, held at the Royal Exchange Building in New York City, proved of little consequence as the court had no docket and made no decisions.
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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 41.6 percent//Disapprove – 53.4 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 27.4 percent//Wrong Track – 64.6 percent
Generic Congressional Ballot: Democrats – 42.5 percent// Republicans – 46.5 percent
-- 41 days until Nov. 4 --
FOR VULNERABLE DEMS ‘WHATEVER I CAN’ MEANS STAY AWAY
President Obama told donors Tuesday night that he would do “whatever” he could to keep the Senate in his party’s hands. But with underwater job approval numbers in states with key races like 34 percent (Louisiana), 38 percent (Iowa) and 39 percent (North Carolina), what he can mostly do is stay away. Less than six weeks to go in a campaign season that has seen vulnerable Senate Democrats shy away or in open rebellion with the president, not surprising is a report that Obama is planning to trim back on a tentative October campaign calendar that already has him visiting only deep blue states and just one competitive Senate contest, Michigan. “In just the past few weeks, the list of expected stops has shrunk, with several campaigns that were requesting the president as recently as late August now pulling back those requests,” Politico reports. And apparently optics count in this case. From Politico: “[T]he White House has itself grown more hesitant, reconsidering a tentative schedule circulated earlier this month out of concern that world events may force Obama to cut back his campaigning….aides will be looking to avoid the optics of ordering strikes [against ISIS] en route to political rallies.” For Democrats like Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, N.H., who have seen a definite drag effect from Obama the optics of no optics is a likely blessing.
MURKOWSKI DISSES ‘DISHONEST’ ATTACKS ON SULLIVAN
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-AK, throws her support behind Republican candidate Dan Sullivan in this latest ad saying “We’re all tired of the negative ads, and I’m especially disappointed by the dishonest attacks on Dan Sullivan…I need a partner in the senate who will work to advance Alaska’s interests not the Obama agenda. Alaska needs Dan Sullivan.”
AMERICA RISING QUERIES ORMAN’S ALLIANCES
The Republican research group America Rising is putting Kansas Senate independent candidate Greg Orman under an online microscope. Posting a list of “unanswered questions” the group makes the case that Orman is trying to deceive Kansas voters in his campaign for the Senate. “Though he ran previously as a Democrat, has Democratic staff, and donated to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, he claims to be an ‘Independent,’ the group says. “The details of Greg Orman’s liberal positions on the issues and his work as a Cayman Islands investor and financial advisor to a convicted felon are still opaque. Greg Orman must come clean with the voters of Kansas before the November election.”
[Orman and Obama – The conservative Freedom Partners Action Fund’s ad says figuring out where Greg Orman stands “Isn’t complicated.” The ad ties him to the President and Democratic Party agenda, saying, “It’s a simple question, do you support President Obama and his liberal agenda…He’s donated thousands to Harry Reid, Hillary and Barack Obama. It isn’t complicated, a vote for Greg Orman is one more vote for Barack Obama.”]
FASHIONS CHANGE: COSMO LIKES SHAHEEN
Washington Examiner: “He may have posed nude for Cosmopolitan once, but the women’s magazine endorsed Scott Brown’s Senate opponent Tuesday. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire’s first female governor and first female senator, was endorsed by Cosmopolitan for being a ‘fierce advocate for women’s rights.’ ‘We wish we could support the man who once posed nude in our pages,’ the Cosmopolitan editors said Tuesday, referring to his 1982 spread, ‘but his policy positions just aren’t as solid as his abs were in the ‘80s.”
GRIMES GETS HIT ON AMNESTY
Kentucky Opportunity Coalition hits Senate Democratic candidate Allison Lundegran Grimes over her support for amnesty for illegal immigrants in this ad, saying, “They’d give citizenship to illegals, making them eligible for benefits like food stamps and even Medicare, your tax dollars to pay for it. Obama and Grimes squeezing us, hurting Kentucky.”
Alison wants a new model - Meanwhile the Grimes campaign fires back in this ad saying after 30 years it is time for GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell to go, “We need a senator that will raise the minimum wage, ensure equal pay for equal work, and job training for our veterans. Mitch McConnell voted no on all of this. Washington is broken and Kentucky needs a new senator.”
CROSSROADS UNLOADS ON UDALL
Crossroads GPS is taking Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., to task in an ad that hits the incumbent Democrat for annually “re-inventing himself” and mocking his claim that the White House fears him. “In fact, Udall has voted with Obama 99 percent of the time,” the ad says, citing ObamaCare cuts to Medicare. The spot, part of an $8.5 million blitz from the group in the Centennial State, joins another ad which features a female voter lambasting Udall for treating women as single-issue voters. “Women have been fighting for years to get the equal treatment we deserve,” the woman says. “That’s why I find Mark Udall’s war on women tactics insulting.”
Dual Spanish ads play in Colorado senate contest - Targeting the Hispanic vote, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the National Education Association each released Spanish ads for the Colorado Senate race between Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo. The DSCC ad promotes Udall as a candidate for liberty and freedom while supporting women’s rights and raising the minimum wage. The NEA ad features several Hispanic voters talking about education and dreams for their children while hitting Gardner on his immigration record.
DSCC HITS COTTON ON MEDICARE
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee hits Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., in this ad on his stance on Medicare reform, with a woman saying, “He voted to cut Medicare he wants to make it a voucher, and he’d make our prescriptions more expensive. I worry that Medicare’s not going to be there for my sons and people like Tom Cotton are only going to make it worse.”
TILLIS BACKERS TOUT CANDIDATE’S FIGHTING SPIRIT
Conservative nonprofit Carolina Rising released this ad supporting Thom Tillis, R-N.C., saying “We’re regular people and Thom Tillis saw a need and he fought for it. Thom Tillis has taken the politics and big insurance to the side and tried to do the right thing for the families of North Carolina…Thom Tillis has clearly shown that he will fight for people like us, people like Samuel.”
PICK SIX: SOUTH DAKOTA CATCHES LOUSISIANA
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? Here are the top picks among Fox News First readers: Arkansas (13.6%), Montana (12.9%), West Virginia (12.0%), Louisiana (11.7%), South Dakota (11.7%) and North Carolina (8.8%). South Dakota continues to gain momentum in the Pick Six reader poll, gaining another tenth of a percent to move into a tie with Louisiana for fourth place. Reader Mark Lennox cites the large number of competitive races he sees in public polling, which he says suggests big changes could be in the offing: “If there is a serious wave this year, the GOP pick-up could be as many as twelve seats.”
Share your top six picks. Email them – just your top six, please – to FOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM or tweet @cstirewalt.
JEB IN THE CAROLINAS
Greensboro [North Carolina] News Observer: “Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, will be in Greensboro on Wednesday raising money for Thom Tillis’ campaign for U.S. Senate. That marks the third GOP governor to come to North Carolina to campaign for Tillis in a little more than a week. Last week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited Wilmington and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley went to Fayetteville for events…Bush and Tillis will appear in the afternoon at a lighting distribution company, Illuminating Technologies, along with the owner, Gordon Hunt, and N.C. Federation of Independent Businesses state director Gregg Thompson.”
Hello, South Carolina! - CNN: “Jeb Bush will be the star attraction at a Republican fundraiser in South Carolina next month, his first trip to an early presidential primary state as a possible contender for the Republican nomination in 2016. Bush, the former governor of Florida and a darling of the Republican Party's donor class, will headline a closed-door October 23 fundraiser for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley…”
ROMNEY HITS THE TRAIL FOR CASSIDY
The Times-Picayune: “2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is headed to New Orleans for a fundraising lunch on October 3 to help drum up donations for Republican Bill Cassidy's campaign…While it's $500 a head to attend, deep-pocket supporters are invited to shell out as much as $10,000 for a photo op and VIP reception. It's being hosted by Dr. Shane and Fenn French. Tons of money have been pouring into the race as both parties consider it crucial to dictating control of the Senate.”
PERRY TO TALK ENERGY AND CLIMATE
Conservative think tank the Texas Public Policy Foundation will host a summit on global warming policies Thursday and Friday in Houston with Gov. Rick Perry, R-TX, giving the keynote speech. Perry is expected to lay out his plan for rolling back Obama administration emissions policies.
CAKE FOR CHRISTIE IN THE TALL CORN STATE
Des Moines Register: “Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., will make a return trip to Iowa this fall to celebrate the 68th birthday of Gov. Terry Branstad, R-Iowa. The event scheduled for October 25 with anticipated attendance of 800 to 1000 is earlier than Branstad’s November 17 birthday, as one last dash to make some extra campaign cash before the November 4 vote.”
WEBB TAKING 'HARD LOOK' AT PRESIDENTIAL RUN
Washington Times: “Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb said Tuesday that he is ‘seriously’ considering a run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. During an appearance at the National Press Club in Washington, Mr. Webb, a decorated Vietnam veteran and former Secretary of the Navy under President Reagan, said that he will continue to have discussions over the comings months ‘among people I respect and trust’ about a White House run. ‘I am seriously looking at the possibility of running for president,” Mr. Webb said. “We want to see if there is a support base for people who would support the programs that we are interested in pursuing.’”
OLIGARCH BUBBLE WRAP
Daria Radionova was looking for a way to keep up with the drivers of the exotic and luxury cars that dominate London’s Knightsbridge district, home to the oligarch set that swarms to the city from the Middle East and Russia. Radinova, a 21-year-old described the Daily Mail as a “business student” from Russia, didn’t call home asking for a new Lotus or Bugatti, instead she got her current ride, a 2011 Mercedes CLS 350, covered entirely with Swarovski crystals. “'The people who did it came over from Russia and worked for 12 hours a day for two months on the car,” she bragged to the Daily Mail, to which she showed off to photographers. So if your kids are calling for college in need of a little cash to make it to Thanksgiving, consider yourself lucky.
AND NOW, A WORLD FROM CHARLES…
“Without forces on the ground there's no way to root out ISIS from Syria. The Syrian moderates won't even be in the field for a year, and there's nobody else who will be out there, volunteering, so that means this will be a containment strategy.”—Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier” Watch here.
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.