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) – A déjà vu moment for the Obama White House and a number of interesting 2014 election dynamics closed our Sunday Inside Politics discussion. And don’t forget about Mitt Romney. Or was that DO forget about Mitt Romney?
1. Administration tries economy pivot again
It is déjà vu all over again for Team Obama. Monday’s family and workplace summit, Julie Pace of The Associated Press told us, is part of the latest effort to change the focus to the domestic economic issues the administration hopes can help improve the midterm election climate.
“They finally feel that they have turned the corner in the sense that they no longer need to have the president out talking about foreign policy almost on a daily basis,” said Pace.
Problem is the White House has tried such “pivots” several times already this year. And with the Iraq crisis front and center, there are skeptics that this effort to pivot or reset will gain traction either.
But that doesn’t mean they won’t try.
A political carton from The Franklin Center making fun of a previous White House pivot:
2. If they don’t ask, you can’t tell them you want Mitt
Mitt Romney has made it abundantly clear he does not believe a third time would be the charm. He is NOT going to make a third attempt to win the Republican presidential nomination.
But there has been a fair amount of Romney buzz, and some polling firms list him when they call voters and ask them their 2016 preferences. A Suffolk University-Boston Herald poll last week, for example, found Romney to be a more than 2 to 1 favorite.
I’m told some influential Romney insiders, who at times were amused, even curious, when such polling was conducted, are beginning to get annoyed and beginning to make clear they would prefer his name not be listed.
Well for starters these Republicans say it makes it harder to get a true sense of how voters view the Republicans who ARE likely to run. Plus, they say it just gins up Mitt 2016 buzz.
“The Mitt stuff is a tease and not going to happen,” one veteran Romney insider says. “Although it does spark a lot of phone calls and emails.”
3. Oklahoma GOP family feud
Jonathan Martin of The New York Times turns our attention to Oklahoma’s GOP Senate primary, where the tea party is a bit more nervous about its chances than in the Mississippi race.
A half African-American, half Native American candidate, former Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon, is backed by Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin and national conservative groups. But some are concerned now that he might not even make a run-off.
“Jim Langford, who's the House member from Oklahoma City, has emerged as a pretty strong candidate,” said Martin. “He’s has had some kind words from Tom Coburn, which is a big deal in Oklahoma, and also benefits from a House primary that's very competitive in his old House seat in Oklahoma City, which is going to boost turnout.”
A Shannon tweet showcasing some of his prominent conservative friends:
4. Pryor under fire in Arkansas
Politico’s Manu Raju suggests the big Arkansas Senate race could be an important juncture.
Democrat Mark Pryor is the incumbent. GOP Rep. Tom Cotton is the Republican hoping voters promote him to the Senate, in a seat that factors big time into GOP hopes of taking the Senate majority.
The U.S. Army veteran, who had served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, was trying to sell his softer side on the trail but is now switching to a different strategy.
“They believe that if they can start pivoting to define Pryor in the eyes of voters as an Obama acolyte, they can win this race and start to see some separation in the polls,” said Raju.
Cotton’s ad linking Pryor to President Obama:
5. A legendary SC name faces a big ballot test
South Carolina has a primary Tuesday, and CNN’s Peter Hamby reminds us Republican voters have a chance to vote for an Atwater.
Sally Atwater, wife of the late controversial GOP strategist Lee Atwater, is running for state superintendent of education.
“There's a lot of fun South Carolina intrigue,” said Hamby. “Atwater is backed by the old Bush forces, the old McCain folks are against her opponent, Molly Spearman, and Common Core obviously a big issue in a Republican primary.”
Sally’s husband, Lee, was a key architect of the George H.W. Bush presidential win in 1992 and later served as Republican National Committee chairman.