Review Category : Poltics

How to Score the Best Seats at the State of the Union

Official White House photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — Rep. Eliot Engel goes by many titles: Congressman, Democrat, New Yorker.

But how about “velcroid”?

The velcroids might sound like the name of a ’90s alternative band, but it’s actually a term — coined in 1991 by Maureen Dowd of the New York Times — for the members of Congress who go out of their way to “photo bomb” the president at the annual State of the Union address.

More recently, they’ve become known as “aisle hogs,” and Engel is not just one of them — he’s an expert. The New York Democrat has staked out one of the best seats in the House of Representatives for the past 27 years, arriving in the chamber hours before the speech begins to claim his spot alongside the president’s entrance route.

His first experience as a “hog” was an accident. In 1989, Engel was a freshman member trying to cozy up to a more powerful lawmaker and found himself in an aisle seat a few hours before the speech. By 2013, he told the Washington Post he had to arrive 10 to 12 hours in advance to save his spot.

Why does he do it?

Engel said he loves being in the thick of the action, seeing senators, cabinet members and Supreme Court justices march down the aisle. But it has also given him a 100 percent success rate with the highly-televised presidential entrance and handshakes before and after the speech.

“When it happens, it’s electrifying. There’s so much energy, it’s wonderful to be a part of it,” he said in a recent interview with ABC News.

His annual appearance at the president’s national address has caught the eye of constituents who often mention it when they see him. His 1994 re-election challenger even criticized his aisle hog habit to try to get a leg up in the race, according to The New York Times.

But Engel brushed off criticism, dismissing the term “aisle hog” as the invention of “some cutesy reporter who thought it was cute, thought it up and said it.”

“I think this job is a very important and responsible job and I take it very seriously,” he said. “But I can also have fun while I’m doing it. I have fun at the State of the Union, it’s a fun thing to do.”

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What You Need to Know About the State of the Union ‘Designated Survivor’

Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy(WASHINGTON) — During President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night, most of our nation’s leaders in government — members of Congress, Supreme Court Justices and almost all of the president’s cabinet — will cram into the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives to hear the commander-in-chief outline his 2015 agenda.

Security, of course, will be tight. But if the unthinkable happens — the Capitol is attacked, wiping out everyone inside the chamber — there’s one cabinet secretary surrounded by Secret Service agents somewhere else, waiting in the wings to become president.

He or she is known as the “designated survivor,” and it’s one of the most mysterious jobs in Washington.

WHO IS THE DESIGNATED SURVIVOR?

Selected by the White House chief of staff, the designated survivor is a cabinet-level official who spends the evening away from the Capitol, ready to take the reins if everyone above him in the presidential line of succession dies in a crisis at the House chamber.

For security purposes, the identity of the survivor is generally kept secret until the day of the address.

WHAT’S THE PRESIDENTIAL LINE OF SUCCESSION ANYWAY?

As anyone who passed 10th-grade history knows, if the president dies or is removed from office, he’s succeeded by the vice president, followed by the speaker of the house (currently Republican Rep. John Boehner) and then the president pro tempore of the Senate (Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch).

But thanks to the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, there’s a much more extensive contingency plan. If the president, vice president, speaker and Senate president pro tempore all die, the line of succession is as follows: the secretaries of State, Treasury and Defense, the attorney general, then the secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security.

WHEN DID WE START THIS TRADITION?

The practice likely began in the 1960s, according to historians. The nation, rocked by the Cold War, was for the first time facing the fear of a nuclear attack. But designees didn’t become public record until the 1980s.

HOW DO YOU PREPARE TO BECOME COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF?

Due to security concerns, the designated survivor procedures are kept under tight wraps, but we do know the survivor begins training immediately after he or she is selected a few weeks before the State of the Union speech. Past designated survivors say they were shown the Situation Room and briefed on continuity of government.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE DESIGNATED SURVIVOR ON THE NIGHT OF THE SPEECH?

Before 9/11, the night was, by all accounts, relatively relaxed. One survivor said he spent the night with his daughter, another hosted a pizza party in the White House.

But post 9/11, things got a lot more serious. These days, the designated survivor is given presidential-level security for the evening, escorted to an undisclosed location, and accompanied by a military aide carrying “the football,” a briefcase with the nuclear launch codes.

For a few hours, he or she is one of the most well-guarded individuals in the world.

WHO ARE OBAMA’S PAST DESIGNATED SURVIVORS?

Past designated survivors have included Energy Sec. Ernest Moniz, Energy Sec. Steven Chu, Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack, Interior Sec. Ken Salazar, Housing and Urban Development Sec. Shaun Donovan and Attorney General Eric Holder.

WHO WON’T BE THE DESIGNATED SURVIVOR?

The designated survivor tends to be lower-ranking in the line of succession — the secretaries of State and the Treasury have never been chosen.

As secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell would normally be eighth in the line of presidential succession. But because she was born in the United Kingdom, she isn’t eligible to be president and therefore would never be tapped as the designated survivor.

You’ll likely see Jewell in one of the front rows on Tuesday night.

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12 State of the Union Spoilers: What We Already Know About Obama’s Speech

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — At 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, President Obama will deliver his seventh State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. It will be his first before a Republican majority in both chambers and likely his biggest U.S. television audience all year.

But unlike in years past, the content of the speech itself won’t be much of a surprise.

In a nod to the new political dynamic, changing media environment and a desire to fight “lame duck” status, Obama has spent the past two weeks rolling out his policy proposals on daily basis, upending tradition in the lead-up to the speech. Senior Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer dubbed it the “SOTU Spoilers” tour.

Here’s a look at what we already know about the speech theme, Obama’s proposals and his plan for the days ahead:

The 2015 SOTU Theme

The White House says Obama will declare a full-on economic “resurgence,” even as many Americans say it still hasn’t affected them. “America’s resurgence is real. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise,” Obama said in Detroit Jan. 7, previewing his SOTU message.

Obama has been buoyed by a wave of recent positive economic data and new poll numbers that show Americans give him some credit. The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll found that the most Americans in eight years say the economy is in “good shape,” 41 percent, with approval of the president surging back to the watermark of 50 percent.

In the lead-up to the speech, Obama has repeatedly said his goal in 2015 is making sure more Americans “feel” the recovery.

The “core theme” of the speech will be “middle-class economics” and “doubling down” on efforts to boost wages and mobility, Pfeiffer said Sunday.

“How we make paychecks go farther right now; how we create more good-paying jobs right now; and how do we give people the skills they need to get those high-paying jobs,” Pfeiffer said, teasing Obama’s three-leg plan.

The Obama SOTU ‘Spoilers’

Here’s a look at what we’ve heard so far:

- Lower Mortgage Insurance Premiums: Obama announced in Phoenix, Arizona, Jan. 8 that the Federal Housing Administration would cut insurance rates from 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent. The agency estimates that 2 million U.S. borrowers will save an average of $900 a year if they purchase or refinance homes.

- Free Community College Tuition: In a video posted to Facebook, President Obama unveiled a $60 billion plan over 10 years to provide free community college tuition to students who attend at least half-time and maintain good grades. Schools would also have to meet certain requirements to qualify, and states would have to cover a quarter of the cost. The White House estimates that up to 9 million students could save an average $3,800 per year if every state participates.

- Cybersecurity – Consumer Protections: During a trip to the Federal Trade Commission, Obama proposed a 30-day notification law mandating that companies inform consumers promptly after a data breach has been identified. He also renewed a call for consumer privacy “bill of rights” legislation. Obama also proposed legislation putting new nationwide limits on mining of student data from devices used in K-12 classroom settings.

- Cybersecurity – National Defense: Obama proposed legislation to promote greater information sharing between the government and private sector businesses, including liability protection for data they share. He proposed new tools for law enforcement to investigate and prosecute cybercrime.

- Cheaper, Faster Internet Access: In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates TV and radio airwaves, Obama formally called on the agency to fight state laws that limit broadband service competition. In essence, the president wants the Internet treated like a public utility. The administration also unveiled $40 to $50 million in new loans and grants through the Agriculture Department aimed at encouraging rural Internet providers. Obama also scheduled a summit for June aimed at streamlining rural broadband permitting and sharing best practices.

- Paid Leave for Workers and Families: Obama will call on Congress to pass a bill that would require all U.S. companies to give employees seven days of paid sick leave a year. He’ll also ask for $2 billion to help states start their own paid family and medical leave programs, officials said. Obama signed a presidential memorandum last week to make it easier for federal employees to take up to six weeks of “maternity” leave by advancing paid sick leave.

- Eased Cuba Travel, Trade Restrictions: By executive action, the Treasury and Commerce Departments added regulatory amendments to existing sanctions on Cuba that effectively end the decades-old travel ban and ease stringent rules on business transactions and trade.

- Summit on Combating Violent Extremism: First proposed in September 2014, scheduled for October, then postponed without explanation, the Obama administration finally put this summit on the calendar for Feb. 18, 2015, after the Paris attacks.

- Grants to Train Cybersecurity Experts: Vice President Biden and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced $25 million in grants to historically black colleges and universities to help bolster training programs for careers in cybersecurity.

- Tax Cuts for Middle Class, Hikes on Wealthy: The president is proposing tax code changes that would raise $320 billion in revenue from wealthy Americans and businesses, while cutting middle class taxes by $175 billion. The plan would eliminate the so-called “trust-fund loophole,” taxing inheritances of high-income Americans. Obama would also raise capital-gains tax to 28 percent from 23.8 percent for those making more than $500,000 a year, and impose a new fee on big banks. For families, the changes would include a $500 credit for working parents; increased child and education tax credits; and new retirement savings incentives.

- New Cap on Methane Gas Emissions: By executive authority, Obama imposed new regulations on the oil and gas industry’s emissions of methane. The administration says the goal will be a 45 percent cut in 2012 emission levels in 10 years.

- Infrastructure Funding: The Obama administration unveiled new initiatives at several federal agencies aimed at promoting greater private sector capital investment in infrastructure projects. The efforts will help expand access to existing federal grant and loan programs to speed application and approval, officials say. The administration also unveiled new infrastructure tax proposals at an event attended by Vice President Biden last week.

What Else Might Be in Obama’s Speech?

While the State of the Union address is always heavy on domestic policy, the president will likely give a nod to several foreign developments, from the global terror crackdown after the Paris attacks to the end of the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan. Obama may use the speech as an opportunity to call for a formal end to the U.S. embargo on Cuba, something only Congress can lift. He may praise progress in the fight against Ebola and ISIS, ask for “fast-track” authority for trade deals and warn lawmakers against new sanctions on Iran. The president is expected to press Republicans to pass a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security without strings attached, and challenge them again to enact immigration overhaul.

On ABC’s This Week Sunday, the roundtable was asked what one line they would like to hear Obama include in his address.

World News Videos | ABC World News

What Happens After the Speech?

Obama’s policy proposals are unabashedly Democratic priorities with little chance of passage through a Republican-controlled Congress. They will be followed by an equally political budget for the 2016 fiscal year when it’s released on time Feb. 2. Reports suggest a 7 percent increase in discretionary spending after years of belt-tightening.

The White House says we should expect more “big, bold, decisive action” in the weeks ahead, in many cases circumventing Congress, as they did last year. “We’re going to run that same play,” spokesman Eric Schultz told ABC News. “Congress is going to take some actions that the president doesn’t support, and we’re going to take some actions that the Congress doesn’t support,” Schultz said.

Obama will hit the road Wednesday to Boise, Idaho, (his first visit to that state as president) and Lawrence, Kansas. He will speak at state universities in both cities.

Meanwhile, spokesman Josh Earnest and White House staff will field questions about the State of the Union on social media all day, an event they are dubbing the “Big Block of Cheese Day.”

Obama will participate Thursday in a live YouTube chat hosted by the platform’s creators. Over the weekend, he heads to New Delhi, India, for previously announced participation in Republic Day and meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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Virginia Gov. McAuliffe Admitted to Hospital with Fluid Around Lungs After Being Thrown from Horse

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images(RICHMOND, Va.) — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe was admitted to the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center on Monday after doctors checking on his recovery from broken ribs found fluid around his lungs.

According to a press release from McAuliffe’s office, the governor was thrown from a horse while on vacation with his family in Africa. The fall resulted in seven broken ribs, which doctors felt would heal on their own.

The governor’s office said that the injury “did not impair his ability to do his job.” On Monday, however, doctors found increased fluid around his lungs and decided that a procedure was necessary to remove the fluid.

McAuliffe was admitted to the hospital on Monday was “is expected to be back in action after 2-3 days of recovery.”

On Monday afternoon, McAuliffe posted to his Twitter account, saying that he was looking forward to resuming his full schedule in the coming days.

Thank you for the well wishes. I’m on to a speedy recovery and looking forward to resuming my full schedule in the next few days. –TRM

— Terry McAuliffe (@GovernorVA) January 19, 2015

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President, First Lady and Members of Administration Take Part in Community Service for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — To honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and members of the Cabinet and the administration will take part in numerous community service projects and events on Monday.

According to a release from the White House, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service “is an opportunity for all Americans to honor Dr. King by coming together to help meet the needs of their communities and re-commit to service throughout the year.” The Obamas are scheduled to attend an event at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington. They will be joined at the event by Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Cabinet Secretary Broderick Johnson and Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer.

Vice President Biden delivered remarks at the Organization of Minority Women’s 31st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast Monday. During that speaking engagement, Biden discussed the need to repair trust between police and the communities they serve. “We have to bridge that separation, in society as a whole, but in particular between police and community that exists in some places,” the vice president said. “There’s no reason on Earth why we can’t repair the breach that we’ve recently seen between law enforcement and minority communities.”

At a wreath laying ceremony at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington on Monday, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson noted that King was “divisive” in his time. “To many, he was a trouble maker. To force the social change we now all celebrate, he challenged the social order of things and pushed people out of their comfort zones.” Still, despite that effort, Johnson noted that “in 2015, hatred, violence and poverty still inhabit our nation and our planet.”

So, Johnson said, “we must rededicate ourselves to a beter world in which god’s children choose to feed the hungry, care for the sick, clothe the naked, choose conciliation over confrontation, brotherhood over hatred and peace over war.”

Numerous other cabinet members, including Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew and Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez will participate in other events around Washington, D.C.

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No Indication Biden’s House Targeted in Shooting, Sources Say

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WILMINGTON, Del.) — One day after shots were fired from a car passing by Vice President Joe Biden’s house in Wilmington, Delaware while Biden and his wife were out, federal sources said there was no clear indication the vice president’s home was targeted.

After a thorough search of the outside of the Bidens’ home Sunday, it appeared that no rounds hit the house, the sources said.

The shots were fired from a car that passed the vice president’s residence very fast at about 8:25 p.m., Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback said. He said the car was outside the security perimeter.

The Secret Service was working closely with the New Castle County Police Department on the investigation, Hoback said

While the incident scene was being searched at about 9 p.m., an individual in a vehicle attempted to pass a New Castle County police officer who was securing the outer perimeter of the area, Hoback said. The person was arrested on a charge of resisting arrest, he said.

A Secret Service official said the person will be questioned regarding the shooting incident to determine whether he was involved in any way.

The vice president’s private residence is several hundred yards from the main road where the shots were fired.

The vice president’s office said he and his wife, Jill Biden, were briefed on the incident Saturday night.

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12 State of the Union Spoilers: What We Already Know About Obama’s Speech

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — At 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, President Obama will deliver his seventh State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. It will be his first before a Republican majority in both chambers and likely his biggest U.S. television audience all year.

But unlike in years past, the content of the speech itself won’t be much of a surprise.

In a nod to the new political dynamic, changing media environment and a desire to fight “lame duck” status, Obama has spent the past two weeks rolling out his policy proposals on daily basis, upending tradition in the lead-up to the speech. Senior Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer dubbed it the “SOTU Spoilers” tour.

Here’s a look at what we already know about the speech theme, Obama’s proposals and his plan for the days ahead:

The 2015 SOTU Theme

The White House says Obama will declare a full-on economic “resurgence,” even as many Americans say it still hasn’t affected them. “America’s resurgence is real. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise,” Obama said in Detroit Jan. 7, previewing his SOTU message.

Obama has been buoyed by a wave of recent positive economic data and new poll numbers that show Americans give him some credit. The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll found that the most Americans in eight years say the economy is in “good shape,” 41 percent, with approval of the president surging back to the watermark of 50 percent.

In the lead-up to the speech, Obama has repeatedly said his goal in 2015 is making sure more Americans “feel” the recovery.

The “core theme” of the speech will be “middle-class economics” and “doubling down” on efforts to boost wages and mobility, Pfeiffer said Sunday.

“How we make paychecks go farther right now; how we create more good-paying jobs right now; and how do we give people the skills they need to get those high-paying jobs,” Pfeiffer said, teasing Obama’s three-leg plan.

The Obama SOTU ‘Spoilers’

Here’s a look at what we’ve heard so far:

- Lower Mortgage Insurance Premiums: Obama announced in Phoenix, Arizona, Jan. 8 that the Federal Housing Administration would cut insurance rates from 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent. The agency estimates that 2 million U.S. borrowers will save an average of $900 a year if they purchase or refinance homes.

- Free Community College Tuition: In a video posted to Facebook, President Obama unveiled a $60 billion plan over 10 years to provide free community college tuition to students who attend at least half-time and maintain good grades. Schools would also have to meet certain requirements to qualify, and states would have to cover a quarter of the cost. The White House estimates that up to 9 million students could save an average $3,800 per year if every state participates.

- Cybersecurity – Consumer Protections: During a trip to the Federal Trade Commission, Obama proposed a 30-day notification law mandating that companies inform consumers promptly after a data breach has been identified. He also renewed a call for consumer privacy “bill of rights” legislation. Obama also proposed legislation putting new nationwide limits on mining of student data from devices used in K-12 classroom settings.

- Cybersecurity – National Defense: Obama proposed legislation to promote greater information sharing between the government and private sector businesses, including liability protection for data they share. He proposed new tools for law enforcement to investigate and prosecute cybercrime.

- Cheaper, Faster Internet Access: In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates TV and radio airwaves, Obama formally called on the agency to fight state laws that limit broadband service competition. In essence, the president wants the Internet treated like a public utility. The administration also unveiled $40 to $50 million in new loans and grants through the Agriculture Department aimed at encouraging rural Internet providers. Obama also scheduled a summit for June aimed at streamlining rural broadband permitting and sharing best practices.

- Paid Leave for Workers and Families: Obama will call on Congress to pass a bill that would require all U.S. companies to give employees seven days of paid sick leave a year. He’ll also ask for $2 billion to help states start their own paid family and medical leave programs, officials said. Obama signed a presidential memorandum last week to make it easier for federal employees to take up to six weeks of “maternity” leave by advancing paid sick leave.

- Eased Cuba Travel, Trade Restrictions: By executive action, the Treasury and Commerce Departments added regulatory amendments to existing sanctions on Cuba that effectively end the decades-old travel ban and ease stringent rules on business transactions and trade.

- Summit on Combating Violent Extremism: First proposed in September 2014, scheduled for October, then postponed without explanation, the Obama administration finally put this summit on the calendar for Feb. 18, 2015, after the Paris attacks.

- Grants to Train Cybersecurity Experts: Vice President Biden and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced $25 million in grants to historically black colleges and universities to help bolster training programs for careers in cybersecurity.

- Tax Cuts for Middle Class, Hikes on Wealthy: The president is proposing tax code changes that would raise $320 billion in revenue from wealthy Americans and businesses, while cutting middle class taxes by $175 billion. The plan would eliminate the so-called “trust-fund loophole,” taxing inheritances of high-income Americans. Obama would also raise capital-gains tax to 28 percent from 23.8 percent for those making more than $500,000 a year, and impose a new fee on big banks. For families, the changes would include a $500 credit for working parents; increased child and education tax credits; and new retirement savings incentives.

- New Cap on Methane Gas Emissions: By executive authority, Obama imposed new regulations on the oil and gas industry’s emissions of methane. The administration says the goal will be a 45 percent cut in 2012 emission levels in 10 years.

- Infrastructure Funding: The Obama administration unveiled new initiatives at several federal agencies aimed at promoting greater private sector capital investment in infrastructure projects. The efforts will help expand access to existing federal grant and loan programs to speed application and approval, officials say. The administration also unveiled new infrastructure tax proposals at an event attended by Vice President Biden last week.

What Else Might Be in Obama’s Speech?

While the State of the Union address is always heavy on domestic policy, the president will likely give a nod to several foreign developments, from the global terror crackdown after the Paris attacks to the end of the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan. Obama may use the speech as an opportunity to call for a formal end to the U.S. embargo on Cuba, something only Congress can lift. He may praise progress in the fight against Ebola and ISIS, ask for “fast-track” authority for trade deals and warn lawmakers against new sanctions on Iran. The president is expected to press Republicans to pass a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security without strings attached, and challenge them again to enact immigration overhaul.

On ABC’s This Week Sunday, the roundtable was asked what one line they would like to hear Obama include in his address.

World News Videos | ABC World News

What Happens After the Speech?

Obama’s policy proposals are unabashedly Democratic priorities with little chance of passage through a Republican-controlled Congress. They will be followed by an equally political budget for the 2016 fiscal year when it’s released on time Feb. 2. Reports suggest a 7 percent increase in discretionary spending after years of belt-tightening.

The White House says we should expect more “big, bold, decisive action” in the weeks ahead, in many cases circumventing Congress, as they did last year. “We’re going to run that same play,” spokesman Eric Schultz told ABC News. “Congress is going to take some actions that the president doesn’t support, and we’re going to take some actions that the Congress doesn’t support,” Schultz said.

Obama will hit the road Wednesday to Boise, Idaho, (his first visit to that state as president) and Lawrence, Kansas. He will speak at state universities in both cities.

Meanwhile, spokesman Josh Earnest and White House staff will field questions about the State of the Union on social media all day, an event they are dubbing the “Big Block of Cheese Day.”

Obama will participate Thursday in a live YouTube chat hosted by the platform’s creators. Over the weekend, he heads to New Delhi, India, for previously announced participation in Republic Day and meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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Ready for Hillary, Emily’s List in Talks to Join Social Media Forces

Kendra Helmer/USAID(WASHINGTON) — With Hillary Clinton’s not-yet-official presidential campaign revving up, the shadow campaigns are winding down. And as part of that, the outside Democratic groups that support her are discussing how to merge their efforts to help Clinton.

Ready for Hillary, the energetic, pro-Clinton super PAC, plans to shut down for good if and when Clinton announces for president, but not before finding a home for two key assets: A massive e-mail list of roughly three million supporters that the group has generated and its extensive social media network, which includes more than two million Facebook fans and roughly 150,000 Twitter followers.

Both are seen as opportunities for marketing and outreach that can live beyond the existence of Ready for Hillary.

The e-mail list and corresponding data are expected to be transferred to Clinton’s official campaign in what is called a “list swap” – a legally complicated process that will surely be scrutinized by outside groups, such as the Campaign Legal Center, which work to enforce campaign finance laws.

The fate of Ready for Hillary’s social media accounts is still undecided.

But, Adam Parkhomenko, the executive director of the super PAC has an idea: Transfer its Facebook and Twitter accounts to the hands of another pro-Democratic group, Emily’s List.

“At the end of the day, if they wanted it, Facebook and Twitter would probably move to Emily’s List,” Parkhomenko told ABC News in a recent interview.

Parkhomenko said he believes giving the PAC’s millions of fans and followers to the national group that encourages women to run for office simply “makes the most sense.”

And Emily’s List, which hosts an initiative called “Madam President” to support a female presidential candidate in 2016, is open to the plan.

“Ready for Hillary has done incredible work to capture the grassroots excitement from folks across the country,” Marcy Stech, a spokeswoman for the group, told ABC News. “We’re excited about the prospect of merging our communities who are united in electing our first woman president.”

Under the tentative plan, Parkhomenko said the social media accounts would likely maintain their current look, including the @ReadyForHillary handle, but would push their followers to move over to Clinton’s official account.

The fact that Emily’s List and Ready for Hillary are engaging in behind-the-scenes discussions is further evidence that the establishment Democratic Party is already coalescing around a Clinton candidacy. The Republican focus at this early stage is far more scattered.

Over the next few months Ready for Hillary officials said they plan continue to hammer out the details of the group’s shut-down plan. But for now it plans to continue its grassroots efforts through March or April when Clinton is expected to announce her candidacy.

“Business as usual,” Parkhomenko said.

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Worries About Terrorism Rise Post-Paris, Trust in Obama Improves

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — Americans’ worries about terrorism have increased modestly in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris, as has public priority on investigating terrorism even at the expense of personal privacy. Barack Obama, for his part, is doing slightly better in trust to handle the issue.

Seventy-six percent of Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll say they’re worried about the possibility of a major terrorist attack in this country, up from 71 percent in October and numerically the most since 2003. It’s been a big majority steadily in ABC/Post polls since 1995, ranging from 62 to 87 percent, the latter immediately following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

See PDF with full results and tables here.

Total worry includes 34 percent in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, who say they’re “very” worried about an attack, numerically the most since October 2001, albeit not by a significant margin. (It was 32 percent in October.)

Given that concern, the public by a margin of 63-32 percent, says it’s more important for the federal government to investigate possible terrorist threats – even if that intrudes on personal privacy – than to avoid intruding on privacy, if that limits its ability to investigate. That’s shifted from a 57-39 percent division in July 2013, its closest margin in ABC/Post polls since 2002.

The two views are closely related: People who are very worried about terrorism give a higher priority to investigating threats than protecting privacy by a vast 75-21 percent, and it’s 64-31 percent among those who are somewhat worried. By contrast, among those who are less worried about terrorism, 51 percent are more concerned with protecting privacy, vs. 44 percent who give investigating terrorism the higher priority.

Obama, for his part, received criticism for not attending or sending a high-level representative to an anti-terrorism rally in Paris after the attacks there, a point his spokesman conceded. But it looks not to have damaged his approval rating at home for handling terrorism: Americans divide on the question, 47-45 percent, better than his ratings on the issue in December and October. (The latter, 42-50 percent, was his career worst on terrorism.)

There are, as usual, sharp ideological and partisan divisions on Obama’s handling of terrorism. Approval ranges from 27 to 54 to 66 percent among conservatives, moderates and liberals, and from 18 to 49 to 70 percent among Republicans, independents and Democrats, respectively.

The president’s approval rating for handling terrorism is lower among those who are worried about a major attack – in large part because they include more of his partisan and ideological opposites. Worry about a major attack ranges from 87 percent among conservative Republicans to 63 percent among liberal Democrats. (Strong worry is especially high among conservatives and Republicans alike.)

Among other groups, worry about a terrorist attack – including strong worry – is higher among women than men, and among older vs. younger adults. Strong worry peaks among less-educated Americans and in the East (likely given the locus of the 9/11 attacks). Perhaps counterintuitively, overall worry is somewhat lower in urban centers than elsewhere, especially when compared with rural areas. That reflects partisan and ideological distributions.

Putting a priority on investigating terrorism vs. protecting privacy rights peaks in some of the same groups in which terrorism concerns are highest – notably among women and older adults. However, on this issue, Democrats and Republicans hold similar views, as do conservatives and moderates. Smaller majorities of independents and liberals support investigating terrorism at the expense of privacy rights.

METHODOLOGY
– This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Jan. 12-15, 2015, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,003 adults, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including design effect.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y.

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Worries About Terrorism Rise Post-Paris, Trust in Obama Improves

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — Americans’ worries about terrorism have increased modestly in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris, as has public priority on investigating terrorism even at the expense of personal privacy. Barack Obama, for his part, is doing slightly better in trust to handle the issue.

Seventy-six percent of Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll say they’re worried about the possibility of a major terrorist attack in this country, up from 71 percent in October and numerically the most since 2003. It’s been a big majority steadily in ABC/Post polls since 1995, ranging from 62 to 87 percent, the latter immediately following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

See PDF with full results and tables here.

Total worry includes 34 percent in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, who say they’re “very” worried about an attack, numerically the most since October 2001, albeit not by a significant margin. (It was 32 percent in October.)

Given that concern, the public by a margin of 63-32 percent, says it’s more important for the federal government to investigate possible terrorist threats – even if that intrudes on personal privacy – than to avoid intruding on privacy, if that limits its ability to investigate. That’s shifted from a 57-39 percent division in July 2013, its closest margin in ABC/Post polls since 2002.

The two views are closely related: People who are very worried about terrorism give a higher priority to investigating threats than protecting privacy by a vast 75-21 percent, and it’s 64-31 percent among those who are somewhat worried. By contrast, among those who are less worried about terrorism, 51 percent are more concerned with protecting privacy, vs. 44 percent who give investigating terrorism the higher priority.

Obama, for his part, received criticism for not attending or sending a high-level representative to an anti-terrorism rally in Paris after the attacks there, a point his spokesman conceded. But it looks not to have damaged his approval rating at home for handling terrorism: Americans divide on the question, 47-45 percent, better than his ratings on the issue in December and October. (The latter, 42-50 percent, was his career worst on terrorism.)

There are, as usual, sharp ideological and partisan divisions on Obama’s handling of terrorism. Approval ranges from 27 to 54 to 66 percent among conservatives, moderates and liberals, and from 18 to 49 to 70 percent among Republicans, independents and Democrats, respectively.

The president’s approval rating for handling terrorism is lower among those who are worried about a major attack – in large part because they include more of his partisan and ideological opposites. Worry about a major attack ranges from 87 percent among conservative Republicans to 63 percent among liberal Democrats. (Strong worry is especially high among conservatives and Republicans alike.)

Among other groups, worry about a terrorist attack – including strong worry – is higher among women than men, and among older vs. younger adults. Strong worry peaks among less-educated Americans and in the East (likely given the locus of the 9/11 attacks). Perhaps counterintuitively, overall worry is somewhat lower in urban centers than elsewhere, especially when compared with rural areas. That reflects partisan and ideological distributions.

Putting a priority on investigating terrorism vs. protecting privacy rights peaks in some of the same groups in which terrorism concerns are highest – notably among women and older adults. However, on this issue, Democrats and Republicans hold similar views, as do conservatives and moderates. Smaller majorities of independents and liberals support investigating terrorism at the expense of privacy rights.

METHODOLOGY
– This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Jan. 12-15, 2015, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,003 adults, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including design effect.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y.

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