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. THE NEXT ADMINISTRATION FLASHPOINT
The Veterans Affairs crisis ended this week in the resignation of General Shinseki, but Steve Inskeep of NPR says the next agency to come under scrutiny might be Homeland Security.
"There have been a lot of questions about the Border Patrol shooting unarmed people, including Mexicans,” said Inskeep.
“There have been a lot of questions about Americans being searched by the Border Patrol. And a lot of questions in that agency about transparency, some of the same kinds of questions being asked about the VA.”
2. ALL ABOUT RUSSIA
How are the stops on a POTUS trip selected? Well, in the case of President Obama’s trip to Poland, Brussels and France next week, Margaret Talev of Bloomberg reports it’s all about Putin.
“Every stop is really tailored to sort of tweak this relationship with Russia,” said Talev. “To show President Putin how strong U.S. alliances are with NATO allies, with the G-7, and then in Normandy, to show here's what the U.S. and Russia could do when they were on the same side together.”
Picture of a previous Putin and Obama meeting showing their always contentious relationship:
3. THE COUNTRY KEEPING NATIONAL SECURITY EXPERTS UP AT NIGHT
While Obama announced a U.S. drawdown in Afghanistan this week, many national security analysts tell CNN’s Jake Tapper that they have their eye on another country - Syria.
“The experts I spoke to worry that the next terrorist attack on American interests, either at home or abroad, will come from someone involved in Syria's instability,” said Tapper.
4. MCCONNELL’S BEHIND THE SCENES CAMPAIGN
A lot of Republicans running this year have declared they don’t know if they will support Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for another turn at the helm. But Politico’s Manu Raju reports that McConnell has been going behind the scenes trying to shore up support to become the Majority Leader if he wins his reelection and the Republicans take the Senate.
Raju cites Ben Sasse, running for a seat in Nebraska, as an example of one of McConnell’s converts and says his cool relationship with McConnell changed after the primary.
“After Sasse won his primary, he was on the phone with Mitch McConnell,” said Raju. “He cut a check to Mitch McConnell. And he had lunch with Senate Republicans right before they left for their recess.”
An ad against Sasse that ran in the primaries from a Super PAC with ties to McConnell:
5. WILL THE TEA PARTY TURN TEXAS BLUE?
The dominant headline of this primary season is the GOP establishment “crushing” the Tea Party, but there’s one state where the movement is alive and well - Texas. And The Atlantic’s Molly Ball tells the Inside Politics panel that their success in the runoffs, with their far right views on topics such as immigration, could hasten the Lone Star state’s turn from red to blue.