EARLIER ON THE FIX:
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
* Former Illinois Democratic congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was charged with scheming to spend $750,000 of campaign funds on personal purchases, and his wife was charged with filing false tax returns. Jackson will reportedly plead guilty. Among the illegal expenditures outlined in criminal documents: $10,150 worth of Bruce Lee memorabilia and $14,120 worth of Michael Jackson memorabilia.
* President Obama pointed to his own experience as the son of a single mother in stressing the importance of family and community as he addressed a group of students in Chicago. “We’ve got single moms out here,” Obama said. “They are heroic for what they’re doing. … At the same time, I wish I’d had a father who was around and involved.” It was the second time on Friday that Obama grew visibly emotional at an event. Earlier, the president teared up at a White House ceremony where he awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal to 18 people including six who were killed in the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.
* Agriculture Secretary and former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack won’t be running for the Senate in 2014. His decision is good news for Rep. Bruce Braley, who looks like the clear front-runner for the Democratic nomination.
* Meanwhile, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) warned Karl Rove and his Conservative Victory Project designed to help identify electable Senate candidates to stay away from state and congressional races. “I basically told Karl Rove that what he was doing is counter-productive and he needs to stay out of it,” said Branstad. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who is considering a Senate run, has said that Rove’s effort to prevent him from running has spurred him closer to making a bid.
WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:
* Democratic National Committee executive director Patrick Gaspard appears to be the administration’s choice to be the next ambassador to South Africa.
* The super PAC started by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) endorsed former state representative Robin Kelly (D) in Illinois’ 2nd District special election, touting her stance on gun control in a new ad. The ad also criticizes former congresswoman Debbie Halvorson (D) and state Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D) for the high marks they’ve received from the National Rifle Association.
* Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is joining Fox News. In a statement, Cain called the move “an opportunity to be one more voice for intelligent thinking in America.”
* ”Is it too late to change my mind?” joked Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) in officially announcing his retirement plans Friday.
* First lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha are headed to Aspen, Colo., for Presidents’ Day weekend, where they are expected to do some skiing.
THE FIX MIX:
The Harlem Shake + Times Square.
With Aaron Blake