By Tracey Webb Follow @WebbWriterguru
Your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, January 23, 2014
1. RNC's winter meeting. Republicans are huddling in Washington to map out what they hope is a winning game plan for this year's midterms. Despite a party "autopsy" after the 2012 election that concluded it needed better outreach to women and minorities, the GOP is doubling down on the party's anti-abortion stance and going on a counter-attack against what Democrats say is the Republicans' "war on women." In a speech at the RNC gathering, former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee defended the GOP. "Our party stands for the recognition of the equality of women and the capacity of women. That is not a war on them it is a war for them," said Huckabee. "And if the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it."
2. Obama's low grades. Just days before he delivers his fifth State of the Union address, a new poll finds President Obama getting low approval ratings on some of the nation's top priorities. The Quinnipiac survey shows just 40% approving of the President's job performance, with 54% disapproving. The poll also shows Obama with negative approval ratings for his handling of the economy and health care. "'It's the economy, Mr. President,' say dissatisfied American voters who are not yet willing to give President Barack Obama a thumbs up on his presidency," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "If – and it's a big IF – the president can convince the American people that the economy is getting better and that Obamacare will be good for them, it will go a long way to rebuilding his sagging job approval ratings."
3. Say it ain't so Joe. The super pac that supported President Obama's re-election is now raising money for a potential Hillary Clinton White House run in 2016. Priorities USA plans to raise tens of millions of dollars on the former Secretary of State's behalf should she choose to run for president. The group has also signed on Obama's 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina and former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm as co-chairs. It looks like an Obama-Clinton 2016 alliance is building. Is Vice President Biden being left out in the cold?
4. Virginia backs same-sex marriage. Virginia's attorney general is asking a federal court to strike down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The move reflects the results of last November's elections, in which Democrats won the state's top three offices. "I believe the freedom to marry is a fundamental right and I tend to ensure Virginia is on the right side of history and on the right side of the law," said state attorney general Mark Herring. Herring voted against same-sex marriage when he was a state senator, but says he has since changed his mind on the issue.