February 9th, 2014
09:09 AM ET
8 months ago

Five takeaways from Sunday’s 'Inside Politics'

1. Avoid the landmines: That might be the best way to describe the GOP’s evolving 2014 strategy. House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to slow-walk immigration, and now his effort to get a debt ceiling increase with minimal drama, is part of an effort to keep GOP internal tensions to a minimum, and the focus on President Barack Obama and his health care law to a maximum.

2. The rise of Rand: Our new CNN/ORC Poll looking at early GOP favorites for 2016 showed a big drop for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and that slide drew most of the media commentary. But what also stands out is Rand Paul at 13%. Yes, a modest number. And yes, it is too early to put too much stock in any poll. But he is working at it harder than any other 2016 GOP prospect so far, both in terms of travels and with consistently tough criticism of both Bill and Hillary Clinton.

3. Two for the price of one?: That was an early slogan back in 1991 and early 1992 when then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton was running for president and Hillary Clinton was viewed as a big campaign asset. Any chance of seeing them together on the trail in 2014? Will we see much of Secretary Clinton at all?

TBD, as we wait for her to finish a memoir of her time as secretary of state, and for candidates to assess whether she would help or hurt.

4. There’s no place like home: Unless you don’t have one. Jonathan Martin discussed his scoop that veteran Kansas GOP Sen. Pat Roberts doesn’t have a home back home, and raised the question worth watching: Will outside conservative groups that enjoy targeting the GOP establishment let it slide, or see an opening to boost a tea party challenger who to date was seen as beyond a long shot?

5. Early test: Look for the Chamber of Commerce and other GOP allies to flood the zone with spending in Florida’s 13th Congressional District over the next couple weeks. There is a March 11 special election for the seat last held by the late Republican Rep. Bill Young. But the outcome could in essence be decided sooner: Absentee ballots are likely to count for more than half, maybe 60%, of the vote, and the race is viewed as very tight.

Because the President’s health care plan has been a major flashpoint, the results will be seen as an early test of the GOP strategy to make 2014 a referendum on Obamacare.


Filed under: Inside Politics
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. annie

    Thaddeus – It is not "that congress became dysfunctio­nal after the Republican­s were elected in 2010". They did what they were hired to do – stop Obama from hurting this country even further. They were not elected to rubber stamp everything Obama wants.

    February 9, 2014 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. CAWinMD

    6. Republicans have no ideas for actually governing the country. All they have are things that they are against.

    If Republicans ever actually internalized the 6th takeaway from the Sunday shows and put forth a positive governing vision rather than "Whatever Obama wants, we're against", they might do better. They only might do better because contrary to what Republicans think, Obama has some ideas that are good for the country and good for the economy. They are just bad for Republican orthodoxy.

    February 9, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. TeaParty4Life

    Tea Party is the answer for America...period!! . We actually want and can get Americas trust by being honest unlike anyone in the demoncat party. Good riddens libtards....good riddens.

    February 9, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. penguin

    If the Republicans take over the Senate our economy will crumble. The only ones who will benefit are the top 1%. The working poor will suffer more. Then it might be time for the people to exercise their 2d Amendment rights

    February 9, 2014 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. Name Paladin

    The Tparty is almost dead. People see the nonsense and is why support for you knuckleheads is down to 20%.

    February 9, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. rs

    The GOP has one or two tinny problems:
    1. They have no legislative accomplishments for the past 5 years- given that comes hard on the heels of crashing the economy, one would think they would be working hard to fix things, and that's just not the case. In fact, they only have cut taxes for the rich. We all know how well that worked….
    2. The GOP has let their little Frankenstein's monster (the TEA Party) take them over. Rich and funny inasmuch as the GOP made the TEA Party. Throw in the tin pot radicalism of the TEA Party, the idiocy of the Birthers, and the GOP has been poisoned.

    February 9, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. rs

    TeaParty4Life
    Tea Party is the answer for America...period!! . We actually want and can get Americas trust by being honest unlike anyone in the demoncat party. Good riddens libtards....good rid dens.
    ______________________
    If the TEA Party is the answer, just what was the question?

    Perhaps: "What would it take to make the United States of America more resemble Germany of the 1930s?"

    February 9, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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