CNN's John King and other top political reporters empty out their notebooks each Sunday on "Inside Politics" to reveal five things that will be in the headlines in the days, weeks and months ahead.
1. RECRUITING SINK TO RUN AGAIN: Alex Sink is suddenly back in vogue as Democrats look to try again in a Florida House district they lost in a special election last month.
Sink was their candidate then, and a lot of Democrats blamed a subpar campaign on her narrow loss. But Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee leaders remain convinced she is their best candidate in November.
The DCCC chairman, New York Rep. Steve Israel, has said so publicly. But he is also directing an aggressive private campaign to help Sink get over her reservations about running again. That effort includes bringing Sink to a recent DCCC strategy session in New York, and sending staff to the district this past week.
Why the optimism about a candidate many in the party believe should have been able to win in the special?
Democrats are hopeful that Charlie Crist on the ballot helps them in FL-13 because he has always run strong in that district.
2. CHRISTIE’S MENTOR MIGHT ENDORSE ANOTHER GOVERNOR FOR 2016: The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza joined us to offer a sneak peak at his in-depth profile of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
The article traces the arc of Christie’s career with a special emphasis of the toll the so–called Bridgegate scandal is taking on the 2016 GOP prospect.
Among the highlights: former Gov. Tom Kean volunteered to Ryan that he might shop elsewhere for a 2016 presidential contender. Kean mentioned three other current and former GOP governors as intriguing: Jeb Bush of Florida, John Kasich of Ohio and Scott Walker of Wisconsin.
And the hits from Christie's former mentor didn't stop there.
"Kean also talked about the bigger problem for Christie is not necessarily Bridgegate or the legal inquiry but the 'culture of intimidation' is what Tom Kean called it, that is suggested by Bridgegate and suggested by some other episodes in Christie's rise through New Jersey politics," said Lizza.
3. RAND RAMPS UP 2016 TRAVEL SCHEDULE: Jonathan Martin of The New York Times shared fresh reporting on the accelerating presidential exploration by Kentucky’s junior Republican senator, Rand Paul.
Criticism is mounting in GOP circles, Jonathan notes, that Paul is not assembling a top-tier team of campaign staff and advisers.
In any event, Paul shows no signs of slowing down his aggressive outreach. To the contrary, Jonathan reports an aggressive Paul travel schedule in the coming weeks includes a handful of state Republican conventions (one of them Iowa in June) – a great place to not only meet activists but also veteran campaign hands.
4. MCCUTCHEON CASE A CAMPAIGN FINANCE “GARDEN HOSE”: The Cook Political Report’s Amy Walter is a prized guest because her top-tier reporting is paired with a colorful and humorous way of communicating big political news.
What does the Supreme Court have to do with a garden hose? Amy answers that question with some unique campaign finance comparisons.
“So if the Citizen’s United case opened up a fire hose of money into the process, this most recent case, the McCutcheon case that came out of the Supreme Court, is more like a garden hose,” said Walter.
Sources tell Amy that this decision will add more money to the system but they still expect that the candidates and parties are going to get outspent by the big outside groups.
A chart of outside spending by cycle from OpenSecrets.org:
5. COLLINS A DEAL BROKER ON RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE?: Legislating, it seems, is a lost art in election year Washington. Democrats and Republicans could agree on some things if they tried, but it is beyond rare that they do because of political pressures.
Nia-Malika Henderson is watching moderate GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine to see if she can strike a deal on raising the minimum wage.
I wouldn’t bet on success, but just the effort is news in DC these days.