Fox News First

The Hillaryification of Barack Obama

In these Friday, Sept. 19, 2014 photos, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Barack Obama speak at the Democratic National Committee's Women's Leadership Forum in Washington.

In these Friday, Sept. 19, 2014 photos, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Barack Obama speak at the Democratic National Committee's Women's Leadership Forum in Washington.  (AP)

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Buzz Cut:
• The Hillaryification of Barack Obama
• Baier in the bayou: Live from Lake Charles
• Big money Democrats
• Gardner hits Udall over his family business
• That job kind of stinks

First he took her health insurance plan that he had attacked as hard-hearted. Then he took her friendly approach to Wall Street after decrying her connections to the “fat cats” he had promised to tame. He took her advisors. He took her lobbyists.  But now, in the full effacement of Barack Obama’s promise to reshape the Democratic Party and American politics, he has taken Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy. After a push that began with the publication of her memoir in June and escalated in multiple interviews with her, her husband and her allies, including fellow former cabinet members, President Obama went full flip on the fight against ISIS in his speech at the United Nations on Wednesday. After banging him up for months, the Clintons finally gave the president their approval. All he had to do was utterly reverse his rhetoric and policies in the course of just a little more than a month.

Bushy - Watch the remarkable mash up from "The Kelly File" of President Obama’s United Nations speech on Wednesday and the one delivered by then-President George W. Bush in 2001. Compare that to the remarks Obama made on Aug. 20. Ask yourself what caused the change.

Obama’s approval rating falls in deep-blue states - The Hill: “Just weeks after President Obama's approval rating hit record lows in the liberal bastion of California, a new survey shows the president in trouble in another deep blue state: New York. Only 39 percent of registered New York voters surveyed in a Marist College poll said Obama is doing an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ job, the lowest level for Obama in the poll since the beginning of his presidency… Earlier this month, only 45 percent of California voters said they approved of how Obama was handling his job, according to a Field Poll released by the Sacramento Bee…”

[It’s on! - The first ballots of the 2014 cycle were cast this morning in Iowa as early voting began.]

Webb takes waters testing seriously with N.H. trip -
WaPo: “Former Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., who is considering a 2016 presidential bid, will be in New Hampshire next month to speak on the campus of Saint Anselm College and campaign for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. Webb will deliver remarks on Oct. 20 at the small Catholic college near Manchester, N.H., which has long been a testing ground for White House hopefuls and host to presidential primary debates.”

Jeb made it rain for five campaigns - Tampa Bay Times: “The old Jeb Bush money gang gathered last night in Tampa to help the former governor and potential future presidential candidate raise money for five Republican U.S. Senate hopefuls: Cory Gardner of Colorado, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Monica Wehby of Oregon, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and, the only one who did not make the long trek, Dan Sullivan of Alaska. Some of the Florida's most elite GOP fundraisers in Florida, with last names like Sembler, Hoffman, Cobb, Petway. Cardenas, Kadre gathered at the Davis Islands home of John and Kim Kirtley and, we hear, hauled in at least $750,000 for the five candidates.”

Rand sets early-state campaign swing - The Hill: “Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is making rounds to the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa for a late October swing through the state to help GOP candidates. [Next week] [h]e’s making stops in the Carolinas, South Carolina for a series of events and follows that up with a stop in North Carolina to help state Speaker Thom Tillis, R-N.C., in his race against Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.”

Rubio to campaign with Brown - New Hampshire Journal:  “Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL, will be back in New Hampshire in less than two weeks. The New Hampshire Journal has learned that Rubio, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, will visit New Hampshire on Oct. 7 to campaign with U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown.”

Jindal to heads to Manchester - AP: “Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a possible Republican presidential candidate, is set to join New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein this week for education-related campaign stops…”

The Judge’s Ruling: Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano gets Socratic about President Obama’s decision to pursue airstrikes against Iraq and Syria: “What if the government here cannot recognize its failures? What if a people who cannot understand the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them? What do we do about it?”

Baseball fans still debate whether he was the greatest professional pitcher of his era or perhaps of all time, but one thing is for sure about Satchel Paige: He was certainly the oldest.  It was on this day in 1965 a 59-year-old Paige pitched three innings for the Kansas City Athletics against the Boston Red Sox. The box score for that game leaves no doubt about the prowess of the man who was the oldest rookie in Major League Baseball history when he debuted for the Cleveland Indians on his 42nd birthday in 1948. In his final appearance 17 years later for the A’s, Paige put away all the batters he faced, except Carl Yastrzemski who nabbed a double. Paige, who had been the dominant pitcher of the negro leagues from shortly after his 1927 debut, crossed over shortly after Jackie Robinson broke the color line. Paige’s performance exceeded even the tall tales that many fans had heard before his arrival.

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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval
: Approve – 41.5 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

“Special Report with Bret Baier” is live in Lake Charles tonight, including interviews with Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., her chief challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and long-shot GOP hopeful Rob Maness. The state’s Election Day “jungle” primary makes the race complicated, but surveys say that Cassidy’s current polling lead over the incumbent only gets stronger if the November vote results in a head-to-head runoff. Could Republican hopes to win the Senate be on the line in December? – Watch “Special Report with Bret Baier” at 6 p.m. ET

Dems deploy Mediscare - A new Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ad attacks Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., on Medicare saying, “…seniors are troubled by Congressman Bill Cassidy’s vote to raise the eligibility age for Medicare. That’s a terrible idea. But there’s more, Cassidy wants to replace Medicare with a voucher system requiring seniors to buy private insurance with fewer benefits and higher costs. A voucher system doesn’t work for seniors. Seniors can’t afford to pay more.”

Small business dumps Landrieu endorses Cassidy - Washington Examiner: “[T]he National Federation of Independent Business on Wednesday endorsed Louisiana’s Republican Senate nominee Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La. The small business advocacy group has praised Landrieu, a Democrat, in the past…But this year, it’s going all-in for Cassidy…”

Power Play: 90 seconds out of the swamp - Sen. Mary Landrieu’s hopes to keep her seat narrow as Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy avoids getting caught in the state’s jungle primary swamp. Chris Stirewalt details what the polls say and what strategy options remain for the incumbent.  Watch.

Noting President Obama is easy exceeding the fundraising activities of his predecessor, the National Journal asks, why? “Last week, President Obama headlined a $100,000-a-plate fundraiser at the swank Jefferson Hotel in downtown Washington on behalf of the Democratic Party’s Senate campaign arm… How much money did the president help rake in for the party that evening? The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee wouldn’t say. The committee wouldn’t even disclose how many people attended. Nor were the president's remarks to a room of big donors ever made public….The DSCC event was his 46th for the year, according to CBS News reporter Mark Knoller, who tracks presidential activity. But neither the White House, the Democratic National Committee, nor other Democratic offshoots like the DSCC will say how much the president has raised for the party this cycle.”

The WSJ editorial page does a deep dive into the deep pockets on the blue team: “Money spent on campaigns is political speech, and these Democratic fat cats are exercising their First Amendment rights. Good for them. But Democrats and their media megaphones ought to spare us the lectures about the Kochs or Sheldon Adelson or other donors on the political right. These denunciations have nothing to do with political principle but are attempts to intimidate conservative donors so that wealthy liberals can dominate the election. If Harry Reid holds his Senate majority, his rich retainers will be the reason.”

[Watch Fox: Carl Cameron takes a look at campaign spending and mid-term money]

Senate candidate Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., gets personal in this ad calling Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., “…a nice guy who will never change the Senate. He is the Senate, 18 years in politics and he’s got two cousins who are Senators too. Mark Udall’s dad even ran for president. My dad? Well, he sells tractors just like my granddad and I’m darn proud of that.”

Udall furious - USA Today  “The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee called the Gardner ad ‘a disgusting attack’ on Udall’s family and said it should be taken off the air. Udall, who is seeking a second term, said this is a ‘personal and negative’ ad by his opponent. ‘This race should be about who can better represent the great state of Colorado, not personal attacks on our families,’ Udall said, noting his pride in his father, Morris. The senator said his dad ‘was as Western and bipartisan and commonsense as a man could get.’”

[A Suffolk University/USA Today poll of likely Colorado voters shows the Senate race essentially tied.]

The conservative Generation Opportunity hits Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., on their support for an internet sales tax in these ads. Portraying members of Congress as senior citizens who don’t understand the internet, the ads say in part, “Is Google open on weekends? What happens if I tweeted something I meant to text? …Congress doesn’t understand the internet but they decided to tax it anyway.”

Freedom Partners Action Fund features veterans in a new ad attacking Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and saying, “When America needed us we were there. We proudly served, our government promised veterans’ health care instead we got neglect disrespect and lies…Mark Pryor you were supposed to have our backs and you failed us.”

[In the latest Suffolk University/USA Today poll, Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., leads Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., 45 percent to 43 percent.]

Dems say Cotton not farm friendly - The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee furrows Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., for voting against the farm bill in this new spot featuring an Arkansas farmer saying, “In Congress when they’re debating the farm bill its more politics, but for the farmers with the farm bill it’s our survival…I’ve got enough risk running a farm I can’t run the risk of Tom Cotton in the U.S. Senate.”

On the ground - Fox News Senior National Correspondent John Roberts is reporting from Arkansas today. He talked to the Senate candidates and asked Cotton about the farm attacks: “Cotton, who grew up on a cattle farm in Dardanelle, Ark., dismisses Pryor’s attack, insisting many farmers told him they didn't support the bill. But Cotton’s main reason for voting no was that the Senate insisted on keeping food stamps in the farm bill, rather than breaking the issues into two separate bills as the House did.”

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee hits Iowa Republican challenger Joni Ernst on special interests and tax breaks in a new ad. “Behind all the flashy TV ads, behind the scenes Joni Ernst signed a pledge to protect special interests. A pledge to protect special tax breaks for big oil. To protect special tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas.” Meanwhile, Americans for Prosperity says Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, helped push the country into record debt and voted to protect trial lawyers in this latest ad asking “Is he looking out for Iowa? or Washington special interests?”

[Republican challenger Joni Ernst hits the campaign trail today with Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in Newton, Iowa]

Ending Spending Action Fund hits Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, with a one week, $700,000 buy for this ad, saying Shaheen wants avoid questions. “Jeanne Shaheen hasn’t held a traditional town hall meeting in two years,” the ad says. “Maybe it’s because Shaheen doesn’t want to answer questions about her possible conflicts of interest on her Senate votes, her families assets surging while in public office. Washington has changed Jeanne Shaheen, it’s time for us to change senators.”

Missed key ISIS hearing - Boston Herald:” U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), who holds a coveted seat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has skipped out on nearly half of the public hearings held by the committee over the last two years, including one where counterterrorism officials warned of the emerging ISIS danger, documents show. Shaheen missed an April 11, 2013, hearing on U.S. policy toward Syria in which a top U.S. Treasury official in charge of terrorist financing told Senate committee members that a new terrorist group, ISIS, had sprung up, ‘underscoring the danger this group poses for Syria and the world.’”

The Georgia Senate race is effectively tied between Republican David Perdue and Democrat Michelle Nunn according to a new SurveyUSA poll, with Perdue leading 46 percent to 45 percent.

Virginia incumbent Sen. Mark Warner’s, D-Va., lead over GOP challenger Ed Gillespie is down to single digits in a new Quinnipiac University poll, 48 percent to 39 percent. Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis comes in at 6 percent, according to the poll.

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 (11.8%), South Dakota (11.7%) and North Carolina (8.8%) Louisiana nudged ahead into a clear fourth place since Wednesday, but the lineup remains otherwise intact. Who’s knocking on the door, though? Alaska at 8.5 percent is just a whisker away from overtaking North Carolina.  Keep your votes coming!

Share your top six picks – just your top six please – to FOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM or tweet @cstirewalt.  And feel free to offer your analysis of the Senate landscape. We share the best submissions here.

In a two pronged attack, Americans for Prosperity hits Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., saying, “Policies are being canceled premiums are going up, patients are losing their doctors, still Congressman Kirkpatrick supports Obamacare, why? Can’t she see Obamacare is hurting Arizona families.” They follow with this ad slamming Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., on Obamacare, “Obamacare, Congressman Nick Rahall agreed, those who like what they have today will still be able to keep it. Now what’s Nick Rahall saying, may be in their best interest in long term to be canceled.”

[Listen to Fox: This week’s Balance of Power podcast from Fox News Radio takes you briskly through three tight gubernatorial contests in Colorado, New Mexico and Wisconsin.]

When you think about life as president of one of America’s top colleges, it’s all leafy lawns, erudite debate in the faculty lounge, tweed on football Saturdays. But what’s your stance on the treatment of skunks? What about skunks that get their heads jammed in beer cans? Yup. The AP reports that university President David Hodge was obliged to state definitively the school’s support for skunks and other small mammals after the pressure group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals stated urging students to crush their empty beer cans in the name of animal safety. Hodge responded to PETA that students groups on campus will work on the safety campaign, saying, “We share your desire to have no more stuck skunks!” An animal control officer was able to free the skunk without being sprayed. (Did you see the original picture? Because it’s still pretty funny.)

“One thing you can say about the improvement in Obama’s treatment of his own country is that six years ago he went around the world talking about our sins, here he at least stayed home and did it from the podium of the United Nations.” – 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

Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily Fox News Halftime Report political news note and co-hosts the hit podcast, Perino & Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What. He also is the host of Power Play, a feature video series on Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on network programs, including America’s Newsroom, Special Report with Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. He also provides expert political analysis for FNC’s coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.