June 8th, 2014
09:12 AM ET
4 months ago

The 'Inside Politics' Forecast: A big, big decision week in Mississippi

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.

Washington (CNN) - An angry GOP Senate leader, a worry of an “ultra-liberal” Hillary Clinton, and a new savior for the California Republican Party? All part of this week’s trip around the ‘Inside Politics’ table to share nuggets from our reporters’ notebooks.

1. A big, big decision week in Mississippi

He rarely shows emotion in public, but Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell is described by a close associate as seething. Another GOP establishment figure called it a “drive by shooting.”

At issue: the very public announcement by the GOP Super PAC American Crossroads that it was not going to take part in the runoff between Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran and his tea party challenger, state Sen,. Chris McDaniel.

Crossroads funneled money to another PAC supporting Cochran in the last stage of the campaign, so its decision translates into walking away from Cochran at a time he very much needs the help; history suggests it is the most conservative voters who turn out in runoff elections, and those voters are McDaniel’s base.

So there is an urgent circle the wagons conversation going on in the establishment.

McConnell, for his part, is leading a new fund-raising effort for Cochran.

And other establishment groups, including the Chamber of Commerce, are promising to stand by Cochran – but they are having a hard time finding a viable strategy.

So before spending on new TV ads for the runoff stretch, the establishment groups are first waiting for the results of a major post-primary poll and other research projects. What we see later this week will give us clues about just what that research found.

2. A go-slow approach for the Benghazi Select Committee

It was announced with great fanfare – and great controversy – but don’t expect a big move by the new House committee investigating Benghazi anytime soon.

Jackie Kucinich of The Washington Post shared reporting that the GOP leadership is determined that the new probe not experience an early stumble that would help Democrats make their case that the additional review is a partisan waste of time.

“Don’t expect any hearings from the Benghazi Select Committee until July or beyond,” said Kucinich. “They are making sure they are crossing their t’s and dotting their i’s –making sure everything is ready before they put these hearings together.”

Speaker Boehner’s tweet announcing his seven picks for the select committee, including six lawyers:

3. New Clinton docs warning Hillary perceived as "ultra liberal

The latest batch of documents released by the Bill Clinton Presidential Library take us inside administration debates over such weighty issues as health care and whether to intervene in Rwanda.

And NPR’s Steve Inskeep smartly notes they also remind us how much some debates have moved and changed since the days of the Clinton presidency.

Memos about the safe political position being opposition to gay rights. And as Hillary Clinton prepares for a likely presidential campaign, Steve notes a memo in the newly released documents warning the president of the perception his wife is “ultra liberal.”

“She has spent 20 years getting over that and repositioning herself in a different way,” said Inskeep. “But the past – her past—in that White House will surely be part of the campaign ahead if there is a campaign for Hillary Clinton.”

And after those two decades of readjustment, some liberals now worry that Secretary Clinton is too “corporate” or friendly with Wall Street interests.

4. Can the California GOP win by losing?

California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is a heavy favorite for re-election this November, and yet there is some hope in the ranks of California Republicans that 2014 could be, at a minimum, a rebuilding year for a state party long in the wilderness.

Maeve Reston of The Los Angeles Times explained why Neel Kashkari is the source of those modest hopes.

Kashkari may not look like a winner this time around but the fact that he is on the ballot, and not a more conservative GOP candidate, gives some in the state party hope that they can rebuild support with moderate voters who have turned away from the GOP over the past decade.

“Nobody thinks he's going to do very well at all this year,” said Reston. “But there's also this behind the scenes battle going on between Gavin Newsom, Kamala Harris, and Antonio Villaraigosa to run for governor in 2018. And can he position himself to be anywhere close to beating them later on? Or any other Republican pick?”

Kashkari’s campaign kickoff:

5. No tea time for Lindsey?

South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham began the 2014 cycle with a target on his back.

A prime candidate for a tea party challenge because of his votes for Obama’s Supreme Court nominees and his work on immigration reform. And his Palmetto state home is considered a tea party stronghold.

But not so fast.

Laura Meckler of The Wall Street Journal shared fresh reporting detailing how Graham appears on the verge of winning the GOP nomination – perhaps without having to face a runoff.


Filed under: 2014 • 2016 • Inside Politics
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Freedom Storm

    NEWS NOT COVERED … California
    State Sen. Leland Yee was a candidate in the Democratic Party’s Secretary of State primary election.
    Sen. Yee is a long-time anti-gunner … oh … but … Yee is currently under federal indictment on arms smuggling charges.
    He received 300,000 votes … oh … but … after he publicly declared that he had dropped out of the race.
    This comes from La-La Land, the Socialist Territory of San Francisco (shocking, I know), the same stomping ground of Nazi Pelosi.

    June 8, 2014 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    This GOP is very pathetic, it does NOT give darn hoot at USA. Just realize this truth.

    June 8, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  3. pierce

    Tea party people have shown themselves to be lunatics on the fringe, people you would not want at your schools or would invite to your homes. The GOP seems embarrassed by their political cousins. These people would have populated the beer halls of 1930s Munich and Berlin. The are the Kkk of politics and the instigators of deception, and probably have rascist instincts. They will destroy the traditional GOP and the winners will be the Democrats, big time and for a long time.

    June 8, 2014 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  4. runninggun1024runninggun1024

    Well I don't no about that state never been there in my life but I wish they would throw all these crooks out of office in TENNESSEE.Every elected official from the police puppet governor to the idiots in the legislative branch should be thrown out.Every politician in state government in tennessee are owned and controlled by the police not a dam one of them will stand up to a police force so sadistic and cruel to the poor it staggers the imagination.my opinion until tennessee police murder me for speaking out against them.

    June 8, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  5. Olympic Eagle

    I would appreciate a very simple message from Republicans if they were to get control of the White House and both Houses of Congress.

    Is it:

    Reduce taxes
    No new legislation.
    Privatize Social Security and Medicare
    Reduce environmental regulations
    Reduce all other benefit programs
    Increase defense spending and send arms and troop anywhere and everywhere in the word involves interests of China, Russia and Israel
    Never allow any kind of immigrant of any kind legal/illegal into this country again unless they are from Canada or Europe
    Women will not have any right over their bodies under any circumstance
    Only those that can afford healthcare will get healthcare.

    If appears to be the message. I wish someone would run on this so that the distinctions are clear. But, I guess it is better to tell people what you don't like about the other guy's agenda than to go on record with yours.

    June 8, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. 1776usa2016

    For 30 years now the GOP has been bleeding centrists and moderates at an ever increasing rate.

    And most of them like me have joined the Democratic Party, a party that is now more to the right than Ronald Reagan.

    And as the TEA Koch Party drives out more GOP centrists and moderates we welcome them over to the Democratic Party.

    .

    June 8, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. Lizzie

    Gurgyl
    This GOP is very pathetic, it does NOT give darn hoot at USA. Just realize this truth.
    - get real, as long as Wall Street, hedge fund managers and overall millionaires and billionaires don't see a reduction in their income, this country will not change, they RUN everything from the current administration on down. But let their income drop and you will see a change so fast that it makes your head spin.

    June 8, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    If Mississippi wants to continue to be one of the poorest and dumbest states with no healthcare EVEN when it's available to all of the REST OF US, unless you have a GOP Govenor, VOTE FOR THE GOP WHO TAKES IT AWAY FROM YOU while the REST of us can have it!!!!

    June 8, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  9. Thomas

    Benghazi Select Committee,Trey Gowdy / Darrel Issa 2016
    Men on a Mission to beat a dead horse .

    Maybe they will find the WMD's ?

    June 8, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. Gurgyl

    --do you want Wall Street go broke just like 2008september. Get real, this is a capitalistic nation. Economy runs on it. Ask GOP to pass jobs-Bill if you have shame. GOP broke this nation with two wars, trickle down. Now economy is recuperating.

    June 8, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. Janet

    It's about time Maeve got with the program and dropped the "Gov. Moonbeam" nonsense. The idea that Neel Kashkari is any kind of threat to Gov. Brown is only a gleam in the eye of the most partisan California Republican. Maeve's whole notebook segment sounded like it could have been penned directly by some Republican spin doctor. In other words, wishful thinking.

    June 8, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. sftommy

    "Mississippi-Gate"

    GOP sets the party tone early in this season's election cycle....

    June 8, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    We all ready know the NEW GOP commettee IS a partisan WAST OF TIME!!!!!AND MONEY!!!

    June 8, 2014 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |