By Tracey Webb Follow @WebbWriterguru
Get your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, January 22, 2014.
1. Christie: Stay or go as RGA chair? The debate is on about whether Chris Christie should remain as head of the Republican Governors Association. Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus says absolutely. "I don't know of a better governor right now to lead that effort that is just a powerhouse across the country," Priebus tells CNN. But the GOP candidate who lost narrowly to Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia governors' race last November differs. "He does not serve the goals of that organization by staying as chairman and that doesn't mean any of the charges, political or otherwise are substantive or not," Ken Cuccinelli said.
2. Christie's troubles could help Rand Paul. So says journalist Peter Beinart. The Atlantic contributing editor thinks Paul is surpassing the New Jersey governor as 2016 Republican frontrunner. "Paul is in a stronger position than many in the media recognize," Beinart writes. "On issues from the NSA surveillance to drug legalization to gay marriage, the GOP is moving in his direction. For his part, Paul is gaining acceptance within the Republican mainstream."
3. "There are threats" against the Winter Olympics. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul acknowledges the possibility of an attempted terrorist attack during the Sochi games next month. McCaul tells CNN that Russia is prepared security-wise. "The security operation is the most impressive and well-fortified that we've seen in Olympic history," McCaul said. But he also echoed House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers' concerns on State of the Union last Sunday that Russia is not as forthcoming with intelligence as it could be. "The area that needs to be improved, quite frankly, is the intelligence-sharing component that the Russians have not been quite as candid with us."
4. Obama's pot policy. The President's comments in a new interview that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol is getting a lot of buzz. But his administration's official policy on the legalization of weed is standing pat. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says President Obama remains opposed to the decriminalization of marijuana. "The President's position on these matters haven't changed," said Carney.