THE BIG IDEA:
Hillary Clinton said last night that she “loves” the new Bernie Sanders ad set to Simon and Garfunkel singing, “They’ve all come to look for America.” Then she tried to offer a reality check.
“Now, look,” she said during a town hall in Des Moines. “You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose. And we need a lot more poetry in this campaign. But I believe that I’m the better person to be the Democratic nominee, and the commander in chief.”
The campaign-in-poetry, govern-in-prose trope was coined by the late Mario Cuomo, the liberal New York governor. Was it a coincidence that Cuomo’s son, Chris, was moderating the event for CNN?
For Clinton, it gave fresh life to a mantra that she unsuccessfully tried to use as a cudgel against then-Sen. Obama in 2008. "You campaign with poetry, but you govern with prose,” she often said, downplaying his rhetorical abilities.
In an interview published earlier yesterday, President Obama dismissed comparisons of Sanders to himself or this campaign to 2008. "I don't think that's true," Obama told Politico. He said the fact that Clinton knows "every policy inside and out … could make her more cautious, and her campaign more prose than poetry."
Just like last time, Clinton, locked in a neck-and-neck race in Iowa, is trying to grab the mantle of change late in the game. Last night, she had a moment that might help. A first-time caucus-goer who said he’s leaning toward Sanders told Clinton that many of his friends find her to be “dishonest” and inauthentic. “I’ve been on the front lines of change and progress since I was your age,” she replied. “I’ve taken on the status quo time and time again.” The crowd loved it.
The two newsiest quotes from the night—
Sanders on his ambitious plans: "Yes, we will raise taxes. Yes we will."
Clinton on her email server: “I’m not willing to say it was an error in judgment because nothing I did was wrong.”
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
- Metro mostly resumed rail service at 5 a.m. But it could not open the Silver Line, and at the last minute the transit agency said workers are unable to restore train service at four Orange Line stations that were expected to reopen: Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church and East Falls Church. Bus service will be expanded over the course of today, although it is still extremely limited. (The latest on the clean-up effort is here.)
- Tragedy 1: A snow plow hit a pedestrian walking down the street in Montgomery County about 8 p.m. The man’s injuries are described as significant but not life threatening. (Martin Weil)
- Tragedy 2: A family in New Jersey was trying to dig its way out when the chill became too much to handle. The mother and her children — ages 1 and 3 — huddled in the car with the engine running to keep warm. The kids’ father tried to clear the snow outside. But the tailpipe was clogged with snow, pushing deadly carbon monoxide gas into the car. When the father went to check on them, he could not wake them up. (Lindsey Bever)
- Today's weather: “Our warming and melting trend picks up another notch as temperatures surge ahead of an approaching cold front,” the Capital Weather Gang forecasts. “Partly to mostly cloudy skies with warmer morning temperatures allow highs to reach the mid-to-upper 40s. A slight chance of rain showers show up by late afternoon into evening."
-- Obama banned solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons, saying the practice is overused and has the potential for devastating psychological consequences. In an op-ed that appears in today's Post, the president outlines a series of executive actions that also prohibit federal corrections officials from punishing prisoners who commit "low-level infractions" with solitary confinement. "The new rules also call for expanding treatment for mentally ill prisoners," Juliet Eilperin scoops. "While the president’s reforms apply broadly to the roughly 10,000 federal inmates serving time in solitary confinement, there are only a handful of juvenile offenders placed in restrictive housing each year. Between September 2014 and September 2015, federal authorities were notified of just 13 juveniles who were put in solitary in its prisons." Read the op-ed here.
-- The creator of the anti-Planned Parenthood videos was indicted on felony charges. "A Houston grand jury that was investigating accusations of criminal misconduct against Planned Parenthood instead indicted the leader of an anti-abortion group that recorded covert videos of the organization’s employees," Danielle Paquette reports. "Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said David Daleiden, the director of the Center for Medical Progress, faces a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record and a misdemeanor count related to buying human tissue. Sandra Merritt, one of Daleiden’s employees, was also indicted on a charge of tampering with a governmental record. The grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast of any wrongdoing. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said, however, that the inspector general of the state’s Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas attorney general’s office would continue to investigate Planned Parenthood’s actions."
-- One week before Iowa, a brand new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows Donald Trump solidifying his national lead. “Republicans see Trump as the strongest candidate on major issues and by far the most electable in the large field of GOP hopefuls,” Dan Balz and Scott Clement write. The business mogul leads the national GOP field by 16 points, at 37 percent, with Ted Cruz placing 2nd, at 21 percent. Marco Rubio is in 3rd with 11 percent, followed by Ben Carson (7 percent) and Jeb Bush (5 percent). Trump’s supporters are more committed to him than those of his rivals, with 57 percent saying they will definitely vote for him (compared to 34 percent for all the other candidates). In a big shift, 6 of 10 Republicans see Trump as most likely to win the GOP nod, and The Donald leads among all demographic groups (including white evangelicals, though his strongest support comes from those with income under $50,000). Trump’s success appears bolstered by the finding that 9 in 10 GOPers say the country is seriously on the wrong track, and 8 in 10 are dissatisfied with the federal government. See the full results here.
-- The results are much closer in Iowa, where Trump leads Cruz by 2 points (31 to 29 percent) among likely Republican caucus-goers, according to new numbers released this morning by Quinnipiac University. Rubio places 3rd with 13 percent with no other candidate breaking 7 percent. The results are pretty much the same as the Q poll’s Jan. 11 survey. Only 2 percent are undecided, though 39 percent of those who picked a candidate might change their minds.
-- The Democratic contest in the Hawkeye State is also narrowing. Clinton leads Sanders by 6 points (48 to 42 percent), down from 14 points in early December, according to a Fox News poll released last night. Bernie is gaining among men (a 2-point December edge grew is a 12-point advantage now), while Hillary is losing ground among those 45 and older and those with college degrees. Nationally, Clinton’s numbers are also slipping, with 49 percent supporting her (down from 54 percent two weeks ago) compared to 37 percent for Sanders (also down, from 39 percent). Undecideds rose from 2 to 10 percent. The Fox News Poll says that the Clinton erosion comes partially from falling support among black voters, 67 percent of whom now back her (compared to 78 percent two weeks ago and 84 percent in December).
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GET SMART FAST:
The Supreme Court ruled that teenagers sentenced to mandatory life sentences for murder must have a chance to argue for release. The ruling, which is retroactive, could affect as many as 1,500 inmates nationwide. (Robert Barnes)
SCOTUS also upheld a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rule that electricity generators hate. The 6-2 decision is a win for Obama and the environmentalists. (Robert Barnes)
New Hampshire has designated two judges to hear voter and ballot challenges during the Feb. 9 primary, when a new voter ID law goes into effect. (AP)
At least 20 were killed when ISIS militants set off multiple bombs at a government-run security checkpoint in Homs, Syria. (AP)
The Taliban claimed responsibility after an Afghan policeman fatally shot 10 of his fellow officers in Kandahar before fleeing. (AP)
The U.N. will convene Syrian peace talks on Friday, but President Bashar al-Assad’s government and his opponents will no longer meet face-to-face, which was part of the original plan. (Liz Sly)
John Kerry, meeting with Cambodian leaders, expressed concern over the government’s record on human rights and corruption. The visit focused on trade and investment. (Carol Morello)
The owner of a gun shop and his son were killed during a shootout with two customers, who were injured in the gunfire, after an argument over a $25 fee. (Sarah Larimer)
Federal authorities are searching for three men who escaped from a maximum-security prison in Southern California. (Peter Holley)
Airbus is one of several companies already trying to sell products to Iran now that economic sanctions have been lifted. (New York Times)
The University of Missouri professor who called for "muscle" to push out student journalists trying to cover campus protests was charged with assault. (Susan Svrluga)
Indiana’s economy lost as much as $60 million in 2015 when several organizations decided not to host events in Indianapolis because of the state’s controversial religious liberty law. (AP)
- Scientists found evidence of a masscare in Kenya 10,000 years ago, making it the oldest act of human warfare. (Reuters)
POWER PLAYERS IN THE NEWS:
- Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) put a hold on President Obama's nominee to head the FDA because he wants the agency to do more about the abuse of opioid painkillers. (Brady Dennis)
- Martin Shkreli, the ex-biotech executive facing fraud charges, got permission from a judge to travel to D.C. to testify on drug pricing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Feb. 4. (Bloomberg)
- Scott Walker listed his three-bedroom Wisconsin house for $338,000. He lives in the governor's manion, and tweeted that he's looking to "downsize" now that he and his wife are empty nesters. (Politico)
- Zephyr Teachout, the protest candidate against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) in the 2014 primary, is running to succeed retiring Republican Rep. Chris Gibson. (Poughkeepsie Journal)
- George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, called Nikki Haley to congratulate her for her State of the Union response. (Charleston Post and Courier)
- British explorer Henry Worsley, attempting the first unassisted solo crossing of Antarctica, died 71 days after starting his journey. He was within 30 miles of his target. (Brian Murphy)
MORE ON THE REPUBLICAN RACE--
CRUZ, SLIPPING, IS TRYING TO REGAIN HIS FOOTING IN IOWA AGAINST TRUMP:
- His campaign spent yesterday describing him as "the underdog." (Robert Costa and Philip Rucker)
- The Texas senator warned a group of pastors in a closed-door meeting that, "If Donald wins Iowa, he right now has a substantial lead in New Hampshire. If he went on to win New Hampshire as well there’s a very good chance he could be unstoppable and be our nominee. And the next seven days in Iowa will determine whether or not that happens." (Katie Zezima)
- The Cruz campaign launched an attack ad against Trump's "New York values." It includes an old clip of Trump saying that he is pro-choice across the board and saying "how stupid are the people of Iowa." (Watch here.)
- A Cruz Super PAC launched three attack ads against Trump as part of a $2.5 million buy. One also highlights his past support for partial-birth abortion, using the same "Meet the Press" interview as in the campaign's ad. Another spot shows a clip of Trump praising Cruz in 2014. A third slams Trump for backing universal health care, or "Trumpcare."
- A separate pro-Cruz PAC launched a radio ad in Iowa to defend his ethanol stance. (David Weigel)
- Marco Rubio attacked Cruz on Fox News for his law clients while in private practice. “When Ted Cruz had to choose as a lawyer, he was choosing to represent the Chinese," Rubio said. "He represented a Chinese company that stole secrets and a product from an American company. So you can't go around saying you're tough on China but then have a legal record in which you were paid a lot of money to defend the Chinese who had taken a product away from an American unjustly, unfairly and illegally.” (Watch here.)
THE DAILY TRUMP:
A top aide to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Stephen Miller, will join Trump’s campaign as a senior policy adviser. (Costa)
The former South Carolina Republican state representative who called Nikki Haley a “raghead,” Jake Knotts, endorsed Trump. (Philip Rucker)
Trump taunted Michael Bloomberg on CNN: "I'd beat him. … I would love him to do it actually. … You know, we used to be friends. I guess we're not friends anymore."
Donald Rumsfeld, a longtime adversary of Bush 41 but the Defense Secretary to Bush 43, said Jeb is not connecting because “there are some people that are uncomfortable with a dynasty.” Rumsfeld told the “Today” show that Trump “has a touched a nerve in our country.”
KASICH RISING, CHRISTIE FADING IN NEW HAMPSHIRE:
- The Boston Globe endorsed Kasich. The Boston Herald endorsed Christie.
- Kasich is going all-in on the Granite State. After Thursday's Iowa debate, he will not leave New Hampshire until the primary. Another poll yesterday, from Franklin Pierce University, put the Ohio governor ahead of the rest of the establishment contenders in the state, with 12 percent. (Ed O'Keefe)
- Christie's favorability has dropped from 53% last month to 41% now among New Hampshire Republicans, per CNN: "He has been crucified over the last few weeks," said Mike Dennehy, an unaffiliated Republican operative in the state. "It's a shame for Christie because he really did have momentum." Dennehy came home from work one night to two campaign mailers attacking Christie's record. He shrugged it off, walked inside and flipped on his Pandora. The first ad to interrupt his streaming music: an attack on Christie. He later grabbed his remote and flipped on the news. There were back-to-back ads targeting Christie. (CNN)
MORE ON THE DEMOCRATIC RACE:
- South Carolina State Rep. Justin T. Bamberg, the lawyer for Walter Scott's family, switched his support from Clinton to Sanders. (Vanessa Williams)
- Bill will fly to Iowa on Thursday for a four-city swing: Waverly, Mount Vernon, Washington and Ottumwa. (Abby Phillip)
Hillary’s 2008 campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, considered quitting her post as an aide to the First Lady in 1998 during the Monica Lewinsky scandal but resolved to stay. “It was a s----y thing to do to her. But he did it. She didn't do it," Solis Doyle said in an interview with David Axelrod for his podcast. “I thought, she didn't do anything. He is the jerk here. And why would I punish her by quitting? … But what he did was absolutely unacceptable for many of the young women who were working on that staff.” (CNN; Podcast)
A super PAC founded by GOP megadonor Joe Ricketts, Ending Spending Action Fund, is launching a $600,000 TV buy in Iowa that calls Sanders “too liberal.” The spot, first reported by the New York Times, is clearly aimed at helping boost Sanders over Clinton, highlighting his support for tuition-free college, single-payer health care and tax increases on the “super-rich.”
-- Christie failed to arrest Atlantic City's deline in the latest episode of our Decider series. --> “Atlantic City’s Mr. Fix-It,” by David Fahrenthold: “Christie chose to intervene aggressively in Atlantic City’s troubles, believing that a better governor — and a little more government — could overcome its steep economic decline. So first, Christie had the state take over half of the city. But that wasn’t enough. So he tried a new casino. But that wasn’t enough. So he tried Internet betting. But that wasn’t enough . . . Despite Christie’s efforts, four of the 12 casinos shut down. About 7,000 jobs were lost. His intervention went so badly that the state legislature is considering whether to revoke Atlantic City’s last best lifeline, its state-sanctioned monopoly on gambling. The mayor — a fellow Republican, exasperated with Christie — is considering municipal bankruptcy. Christie’s decision to intervene here reflects his style of governing: Confident. Pugnacious. Braggadocious. And sometimes unwilling to acknowledge the limits of his power.”
-- "How David Petraeus avoided felony charges and possible prison time," by Adam Goldman: "The Justice Department has never discussed how it reached its decision to accept a plea on the lesser charge. But six current and former U.S. officials, as well as others familiar with the case, provided the first detailed look at the internal debates and wrangling with Petraeus’s lawyers that took place before the retired four-star general entered his guilty plea ... As part of the agreement, Petraeus admitted that he improperly removed and retained highly sensitive information in eight personal notebooks that he gave to [Paula] Broadwell. The Justice Department said the information, if disclosed, could have caused 'exceptionally grave damage.' Officials said the notebooks contained code words for secret intelligence programs, the identities of covert officers, and information about war strategy and deliberative discussions with the National Security Council. The plea agreement left some in the Justice Department angry, particularly at the FBI, and some agents have argued privately that it will hamper future efforts to secure prison terms in leak cases. But others in the government defended the deal as the only viable conclusion to a case in which a successful prosecution on the more serious charges was far from certain. 'Nobody was going to be happy with the outcome,' a former Justice Department official said. 'There was nothing about this case that was typical.'"
-- “Booming health care costs and growing deficits create budget headache for Republicans,” by Kelsey Snell: “Congressional Republicans have promised to include deep spending cuts in their upcoming budget proposals and new data showing rising federal health care costs and a looming deficit increase will likely add to conservatives hunger for big funding reductions. Federal health care costs are expected to jump to $936 billion in 2016, outpacing the $882 billion projected spending on Social Security, according to a report released Monday by the Congressional Budget Office. … Republicans will likely use the latest data from CBO to justify proposing deep spending cuts to mandatory spending programs, but GOP leaders could face some tough questions when it comes to how much to provide for the 12 annual spending bills both Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell want to move early this year. … Republican leaders agreed late last year to a deal that allows for $30 billion in new discretionary spending in fiscal 2017, an agreement that continues to rankle conservatives, particularly in the House.”
Concepcion Picciotto, the protester who maintained a peace vigil outside the White House for more than three decades, a demonstration widely considered to be the longest-running act of political protest in U.S. history, died yesterday at a housing facility operated by N Street Village, a nonprofit that supports homeless women in Washington. She was believed to be 80. She had recently suffered a fall. Picciotto — a Spanish immigrant known to many as “Connie” or “Conchita” — was the primary guardian of the anti-nuclear-proliferation vigil stationed along Pennsylvania Avenue.
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
— ZIGNAL VISUAL: Sanders got more mentions online during last night’s Democratic forum: Here's a total mentions chart during the event on CNN, via our analytics partners at Zignal Labs. Note how Sanders mentions spike during his time with Chris Cuomo, while Clinton's mentions did as well. The Sanders spike was bigger than the Clinton bounce:
Both candidates were able to drive their own coverage during the town hall, as these lists of their top tweets illustrate:
— Pictures of the day:
Ben Cohen, a co-founder of Ben & Jerry's, unveiled a new ice cream flavor in honor of Sanders. It's called "Bernie's Yearning":
Here's the flavor description:
NASA released this photo of a star cluster known as Trumpler 14, calling it "one of the highest concetrations of massive, luminous stars in the entire Milky Way":
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) stopped at Randy's Donuts near Los Angeles on his way back home to Bakersfield, Calif.:
NASA's Earth Observatory posted this photo of the D.C. region from space:
One snow lover got creative using the wind on the National Mall:
Mark Zuckerberg posted this photo in honor of his first day back at work after paternity leave. He asked, "What should I wear?":
— Tweets of the day:
Watch out -- Hugh Hewitt might get creative with his outfit at the next debate:
Thinking through the next debate look pic.twitter.com/huFRO3WGte— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) January 25, 2016
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) was called for jury duty:
Yep. Just reported for jury duty.On my bucket list to serve. Betting lawyers boot me...use peremptory challenge. pic.twitter.com/lebEiTiF9Y— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) January 25, 2016
McCaskill live-tweeted the whole process:
OMG. I got called. On my way to courtroom. Yes!— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) January 25, 2016
Her live-tweets captivated MSNBC's Rachel Maddow:
Is it weird that I'm desperate to know if @clairecmc is going to get picked for that jury?— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) January 25, 2016
Trump is not letting go of the Cruz-was-born-in-Canada issue:
It's time for Ted Cruz to either settle his problem with the FACT that he was born in Canada and was a citizen of Canada, or get out of race— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2016
The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol predicted a Cruz win in Iowa:
WAAAYYY out on a limb! My prediction, a week out, of IA results: Cruz 30, Trump 25, Rubio 22, no other candidate above 6%. #NoGutsNoGlory— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) January 25, 2016
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is making his own final push for Cruz:
America gets one more chance to Chuz a president & get it right. If wrong, we will almost certainly become a ... pic.twitter.com/B8UMI1MPkq— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) January 25, 2016
Liberal commentator David Sirota said he's observing a "freak out" on the left over Sanders vs. Clinton:
Dont think Ive ever seen DC's Professional Left freak out this intensely over a Dem primary. A lot of Permanent Washington seems real scared— David Sirota (@davidsirota) January 25, 2016
Carly Fiorina's deputy campaign manager was pleased to snag a flight from DC to Iowa:
Jim Gilmore, what are you talking about?
This week's New Yorker cover, with America's greatest presidents tuning into cable news: pic.twitter.com/mGtvLzaOLM— Alex Weprin (@alexweprin) January 25, 2016
— Instagrams of the day:
Barbra Streisand met with Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to talk about the risk of heart disease for women:
Kasich got a haircut at Not So Plain Jane's in Manchester, N.H.:
Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) sent two-dozen eggs down a luge and didn't break a single one (click for video):
GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:
-- New York Times, "Before rise as outsider, Ted Cruz played inside role in 2000 recount," by Matt Flegenheimer: "Mr. Cruz rarely invokes the 2000 race and recount. He has largely disavowed the comparatively moderate Bush wing of the Republican Party in pursuit of conservative ideological purity. Yet his initial venture into presidential politics is by turns a confirmation of and a complication for the professed Cruz image. The race installed Mr. Cruz as a creature of the Republican establishment — but also helped start his divorce from it. He made plenty of enemies among party operatives, according to interviews with over a dozen former colleagues, though for reasons that had little to do with ideology. ... By the end of five bleary-eyed weeks of hanging chads and butterfly ballots, Mr. Cruz had aggressively worked his legal connections, chafed when he felt sidelined by party veterans and — even in the view of some who disparage him — helped ensure Mr. Bush’s victory in the courts, to a point. In fact, former colleagues say, the Ted Cruz of 2000 is entirely recognizable in the candidate now aspiring to the presidency himself, fusing hyper-intelligence, crackling ambition and a laundry list of impeccable insider credentials that he once ticked off more readily. 'He thought he should get the No. 1 policy job in the White House, and he was extremely ambitious,' said Ari Fleischer, Mr. Bush’s former spokesman. 'In Ted’s case in 2000, it backfired.'"
-- Hillary gives BuzzFeed an interview, “Clinton wants to talk to you about love and kindness,” by Ruby Cramer: “Here is how Hillary Clinton sees herself: radically consistent, motivated by a core philosophy — voiced now through two words rarely associated with her. ‘Love and kindness.’ If this sounds unlikely, she knows it. For 50 years, she’s struggled to explain the values that motivate her — in public life, as a candidate, as a person. The one time she really tried to, in the early 1990s, she was brutally mocked. In the view of some of her closest aides, Clinton never fully recovered from the critical backlash. … As Clinton sees it, she’s really talking about a ‘shorthand’ for her personal and political beliefs, for all the impulses that shape what she does and how she does it. … Even if no one views her that way. Even if she’s never been quite able to explain it. … Even if her earnest efforts to connect with people are hampered not just by her image, but by the actual barriers of public life. After so many years, how do you convince a nation full of people who think they know everything about you that they don’t?”
-- Boston Globe, "Trump and Sanders lead the pack with big promises," by Matt Viser and Annie Linskey: "Trump and Sanders have virtually nothing in common except for outsider status and pie-in-the-sky policy priorities, which they sell with highly charged emotional appeals targeted directly at voters’ economic and social anxieties. Trump says he would build a wall along the Southern border, and make Mexico pay for it. ... He would temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States ... He says he would force Apple to build all of its products in the United States ... In seeming disregard of US and global trade rules, he wants to slap a stiff, blanket tariff on imported Chinese goods. ... Sanders, the self-described democratic socialist, hews more closely to legal realities than Trump, but he still campaigns on an aspirational platform of political longshots. He vows to break up the big banks. He wants to give every student the option of going to college without paying for it. He envisions a health care system in which everyone is covered, including undocumented immigrants. He wants to mandate that employers pay for new parents to stay home with their babies for three months. While he says the United States should be more like Denmark, he neglects to mention that the Scandinavian country has a 55 percent income tax rate. The unrealistic nature of their promises is a startling feature of a 2016 campaign full of surprises, as candidates who once would have been dismissed as fringe play dominant roles."
-- Politico, “State Dept. watchdog tied to earlier Clinton probe,” by Josh Gerstein: “A lawyer overseeing investigations into Hillary Clinton’s email practices has a history of tangling with the former first lady’s political operation: He was a federal prosecutor involved in a probe that led, a decade ago, to the unsuccessful prosecution of a top Clinton fundraising aide. David Seide — now the acting senior adviser to the State Department inspector general — gathered evidence that surfaced in the case against David Rosen, the national finance director of Clinton’s 2000 Senate bid. Seide’s tie to the Rosen case is fueling concerns among Clinton’s allies that various inquiries relating to her use of a private email server are being skewed against her. However, the inspector general’s office denies any conflict and says Seide’s connection to the earlier prosecution was a remote one.”
-- Politico, "When Cruz Wanted to Be Part of the Establishment,” by Shane Goldmacher and Daniel Lippman: "Five years ago, as Cruz plotted his path to the U.S. Senate, the anti-establishment crusader sought a private audience with and the backing of one of the faces of the modern GOP establishment: George W. Bush. In a never-before-reported meeting in Bush’s Dallas office, Cruz began to outline his 2012 campaign playbook for the former president … Cruz explained how he would consolidate conservatives yearning for a political outsider, how he would outflank the front-runner on the right, how he would proudly carry the mantle of the ascendant tea party to victory over entrenched elites. … Bush cut Cruz off before he could finish. 'I guess you don’t want my support,' Bush interrupted. 'Ted, what the hell do you think I am?'"
HOT ON THE LEFT
A Republican state representative in Tennessee stepped down as majority whip over inappropriate text messages to female colleagues. The Tennessean says many of his colleagues are now calling on him to resign altogether.
HOT ON THE RIGHT
Fox News said Trump is afraid of Megyn Kelly. From Politico: "Sooner or later Donald Trump, even if he’s president, is going to have to learn that he doesn’t get to pick the journalists — we’re very surprised he’s willing to show that much fear about being questioned by Megyn Kelly," a network spokesperson said.
Six days from the caucuses, it's an Iowa heavy day on the trail.
Hillary speaks in Decorah and Cedar Falls, before she heads to Marshalltown.
Trump, also in Iowa, will be in Marshalltown and Iowa City before holding a rally in Iowa City.
Sanders' bus tour goes to Des Moines.
Cruz holds events in Des Moines, Albia, Centreville, Bloomfield, Ottumwa, Fairfield and Keosauqua.
Rubio is in Pella, Oskaloosa, Marshalltown and West Des Moines.
Carson campaigns in Des Moines.
Kasich makes stops in New Boston, Rindge and Amherst, N.H.
Fiorina heads to Colfax, Iowa City and Mt. Pleasant.
Santorum campaigns in Williamsburg, Monticello, Dubuque, Anamosa, Cedar Rapids and Monroe, Iowa.
Huckabee goes to Ankeny, Newton, Pella and Indianola.
At the White House: President Obama and Vice President Biden will meet with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid at 11:15 a.m. to discuss upcoming legislative priorities.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"The way that Hillary Clinton’s been talked about in the media is so gendered and rabidly sexist in every single portrayal," said Lena Dunham, the star of "Girls" and a Clinton surrogate. "Whether it’s the attacks on her personal life or the adjectives that are used to describe her clothing, we have to do a full reexamination. If we were allowed to talk about male candidates like that, I’d have a ... field day.” (Variety)
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- The Boston Celtics clobbered the Wizards 116-91. (Jorge Castillo)
-- The co-owner of Bethesda-based Total Wine & More, David Trone, is seriously thinking about joining the crowded Democratic primary for Chris Van Hollen’s House seat. (Bill Turque)
-- A member of Terry McAuliffe’s cabinet accepted an invitation from the Washington Redskins to watch a game in one of their luxury suites. Now Republicans are questioning whether McAuliffe and his administration have violated one of his executive orders that members of his cabinet cannot accept gifts worth more than $100. The boxes are valued at between $18,000 to $24,000. (Laura Vozzella)
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
The bully is back. Christie hectored a young girl who asked him in New Hampshire why he was not back in New Jersey dealing with recovery from the storm. "It's already done," he said. "I don't know what you expect me to do. You want me to to go down there with a mop?"
A better moment for the governor, as he explains why he is not attacking Trump:
Marco Rubio loves throwing footballs (in the latest made-to-go-viral video from Independent Journal Review):
Tian Tian is still enjoying the snow at the National Zoo (click for video):
Watch 36 hours of Snowzilla in 30 seconds, from the top of The Post's building:
At a Sanders rally, a woman choked up while describing how she survives on less than $10,000 a year:
Hillary "walks it out."