State of the Union: Candy Crowley’s Crib Sheet for June 20

GAME ON

After an eight-month hiatus from Sunday Morning talk, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel speaks. Despite all the hefty issues floating through the White House, he remains an aficionado of raw politics. Ratcheting up the political noise over Rep. Joe Barton’s (R-Texas) apology to BP, Emanuel said Barton’s now retracted words were “not a political gaffe… (but) a philosophy.”

As close as Democrats try to tie all Republicans to Barton’s remarks, that’s how far away Republicans want to get.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska): “The statement that Representative Barton made was wrong. Absolutely wrong.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky): “I couldn’t disagree with Joe Barton more.”

Coming soon to a campaign trail near you.

MEANWHILE

In the 62 days since 11 men were killed on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig, more than 70 members of the U.S. military were killed in Afghanistan. Taking stock of the war, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Chairwoman, Senate Intelligence Committee) called Afghanistan a “difficult situation.” Sen. Richard Lugar says the question is what’s the mission, …”the President is going to have to redefine the plan.

Amid signs that June may be the deadliest month so far this year in Afghanistan and against the backdrop of a U.N. report saying roadside bomb attacks in Afghanistan are up 94 percent in the first four months of this year, Defense Secretary Robert Gates blames the media and argues that people are “losing context.” Gates says the plan to begin withdrawing troops in 2011 still stands.

To all Dads, wherever you are this day, Happy Father’s Day.

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