Morning Joe | March 20, 2013
>>> a lot or does he as we look at the picture of the president and israels leaders.
>> yes, he yells bingo!
>> netanyahu does?
>> he does it in hebrew.
>> what is bingo in hebrew?
>> it's bingo.
>> with hebrew letters .
>> the president is making first trip to israel since, gosh.
>> since bush in 2008 .
>> this is his first trip to israel . a lot of pressure on him during the campaign actually asking questions asking him why he hadn't visited. he said reported the president will take a trip to israel in his second term. here it is. first foreign trip there. israel analysts, if he is asking israel for forbearance and asking for time. israel has a red line much more immediate than the americans do. the president thinks as he said in his interview with israel channel 2 before his departure he i think, iran is a year away. he is going to israel saying behind closed doors , give me time. i want to pursue the negotiation track and i want to try to continue to get a peaceful outcome here on the iran program and talk to the israel public and build confidence among israelis.
>> president reagan never went as president and president bush went at the end of his second term. he is on a better track in terms of israel visits than his predecessors.
>> a good point richard makes.
>> can i respond?
>> president reagan did not actually go through the arab world . he said, while i'm here, i'm not going to israel .
>> as you look at these three world leaders too. ronald reagan never made sure his time matched --
>> okay. this is just ridiculous.
>> there you go.
>> stungningly profind.
>> let's go to politico, please. with us now --
>> also makes him superior to ronald reagan , right?
>> the messiah has returned to israel . look at that.
>> are you kidding me?
>>> with us now is chief white house correspondent for politico, mike allen , here with the morning playbook.
>> this is a good one.
>> watch the live pictures while we talk to mike. i think we can walk and chew gum at the same time according to joe.
>> i doubt it.
>> mike, new report from politico suggest a number of big name democrats are not thrilled with the idea of ashley judd challengi challenging senate minority leader in conduct. some party leaders including former president bill clinton is trying to court another candidate. the kentucky secretary of state . the former president encouraged her to run assuring his and hillary clinton 's support should she try to unseat mcconnell. judd under fire for a speech she delivered in 2010 she compared a coal mining practice to the, quote, state sanctioned rape of appe ap appalatcha.
>> could they see she would not be a great leader of kentucky?
>> ashley judd would be a perfect candidate if she weren't living in tennessee, if she weren't against coal mining and weren't for san francisco republicans love using. two great names here. ashley judd and alison grimes. amazing names. so this is for the big enchilada. the 2014 senate races. can they take out mitchell mcconnell like the senate republicans took out tom daschle a democratic leader a few years ago. democrats are starting to get worried ashley judd is too easy and too much material to work with her so they want basically a blank slate . allison grimes has been the state --
>> secretary of state .
>> secretary of state for just a year. joe knows the best way to have a clean record in public office is to not be there very long and someone new in office and with a powerful family in the state . her dad is a union leader. her dad has been the state party chairman . so people love the idea of her running at a state political event. bill clinton took her aside and had a 35-minute conversation with allison grimes and said we are reporting that both he and secretary clinton would support her if she decided to run.
>> obviously, republicans would love, michael steele , to have judd run whether she is running from tennessee or or san francisco .
>> doesn't matter where she would run. she would would be a great candidate to run against. mcconnell's concern is not who the democrats are going to put up. it's how he is going to navigate a primary potentially should someone to his right get into that, or he gets some kind of noise or pressure. i'm curious, though, mike, if the democrats are beginning to do this tinkering, how is ashley judd perceived by the base? is she getting any momentum with the base at all or the establishment dems making the noise right now?
>> the base would be excited. she was out big for obama and she's been doing everything that you would do to run. she still is. there is the possibility that these two would wind up in a primary. although that is unlikely. allison grimes is such a promising political figure that people are courting her for house, senate, and governor. the house democratic campaign committee wants her to run. it's possible that she could run for governor later. so that's why she has a huge gamble to make here and why probably going up against ashley judd in a primary is unlikely. the democrats who make the argument for judd say that it would be -- that allison grimes would be too traditional, that they need something exciting to take on --
>> mike, let's move quickly. your lead story. only reason 'em asking this, i saw breaking news from politico across my iphonenight. menendez court -- a picture of president with this menendez do donor. i don't know his name. what is the impact?
>> here is what is important here. senator robert menendez who is chairman of the foreign affairs committee who is being investigated by senate ethics and part of an investigation in florida pulls back the curtain a little bit on someone whose plane he has flown on and house he has stayed at, who has given him along with his enterprise more than a million dollars over the years. so senator menendez has a tough thing here. someone who has been very involved in the democratic politics and supportive of him and now in the cross-hairs of the fbi. tough for senator menendez to pull away from that and why there is a big story for some time.
>> mike allen , thank you very