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First Watch: Palin defends McCain, Lower Class rising, Seeger's long time passing

  • McClatchy Washington Bureau
  • Published Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, at 6:55 a.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, at 6:55 a.m.

The number of Americans who consider themselves middle class (44%) has hit a record low, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center, and the number who identify as lower class (40%) has risen. The new numbers were revealed yesterday, on the eve of the president's annual State of the Union address. The president is expected to focus on income inequality in his address tonight.

Former vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin has risen to the defense of her ballot partner, John McCain, after the veteran Arizona senator was called “not conservative enough” by his state’s Republican party. She writes in a Facebook note, "I consider Senator John McCain an American hero and a friend. ... it's perplexing to see Senator McCain’s good efforts to uncover the Obama agenda being ignored and perhaps even hindered now by those wanting to censure the Arizona Senator. Despite our differences on some other issues, there is no questioning Senator McCain’s dedication to national security in spite of the White House’s agenda. ... One more thing, if you've met his beautiful mother you know where he gets his tenacity. Roberta McCain is one tough Mama Grizzly."

And folk singer Pete Seeger is dead at 94. The peace activist, known for songs like "Where have all the flowers gone?," passed away yesterday.

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