August 3rd, 2014
09:38 AM ET
2 months ago

The ‘Inside Politics’ Forecast: Rand Paul tries to shed isolationist image with fall speech

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 rare dose of high-powered bipartisanship, plus a mix of 2014 and 2016 nuggets from our weekly trip around the Inside Politics table:

1. RAND –MAN IN THE MIDDLE ON FOREIGN POLICY?

Politico’s Mike Allen shared important reporting about an effort by Rand Paul to address what is perhaps his most significant obstacle as he pursues the 2016 GOP presidential nomination: the isolationist label.

The freshman Kentucky senator has long complained it’s an unfair knock, and an unfair “guilt by association” situation with his father, former Rep. Ron Paul.

But Mike says the senator is planning a high-profile pitch at the National Defense University this fall to address his critics, and attempt to reposition himself on the foreign policy spectrum.

“He’s going to argue that he’s smack in the middle - the same place that George H.W. Bush was, that Reagan was, and that Ike was,” said Allen.

2. 2016 PLAN B PATH IF HILLARY SAYS NO

Watch Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar as she moves to raise her national profile and make new friends in the kickoff presidential battleground of Iowa.

No, as Robert Costa of The Washington Post made clear, the Democratic senator has no plans to seek the 2016 Democratic nomination if her former Senate colleague, as expected, makes the race.

But Robert shared reporting of a Klobuchar plan to be ready in case Democrats need a Plan B, or perhaps for a cycle down the road a few years.

“Members of her inner circle tell me that she won't run against Secretary Clinton, but should Secretary Clinton, for some reason, bow out of consideration, Senator Klobuchar is building up a national network, talking to donors and later this month, she'll be in Iowa,” said Costa.

Her tweet about a time where she had to skip flying on Air Force 1. Of course, if she becomes president, the plane will have to wait!

3. TEA PARTY “CRUSH” STRATEGY DUE FOR ITS LAST BIG TESTS

There are two significant tea party tests left on the GOP Senate primary calendar, and Jonathan Martin of The New York Times tells us the establishment is guardedly optimistic.

One is against incumbent Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee; the other against incumbent GOP Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas.

The latter for weeks has been described as the more vulnerable of the two, but Jonathan says there are those who believe that might have shifted – meaning Alexander suddenly has more to worry about – because of the shifting issues terrain in Washington.

“There’s some concern about Roberts, because of the campaign he's run, whereas Alexander has run a better campaign, but keep in mind, Alexander has been targeted by Laura Ingraham and Sarah Palin over the immigration issue, which is, as we know, boiling right now,” said Martin.

Alexander’s tweet showing he supports a Senate tea party favorite on the border crisis issue:

4. TWO FIRST LADIES AND A LESSON FOR THE MEN OF WASHINGTON

Laura Bush and Michelle Obama are teaming up this week, for a mix of policy talk and socializing with the spouses of African leaders who will be in the United States for a summit meeting.

And Nia Malika Henderson of The Washington Post tells us the main goal of the Bush-Obama partnership is to discuss their own lives in the context of helping elevate the role of women in the nations of their guests here in Washington.

But perhaps this rare, bipartisan effort might send a message to others in this dysfunctional town?

5. 93 DAYS, AND COUNTING ..... WITH BIG MONEY DECISIONS LOOMING SOON

Republicans need a gain of six Senate seats to take the majority, and are looking at opportunities in a dozen or more states with seats now held by Democrats. But the map will inevitably shrink, and here are two races to watch if you want to feel plugged in when big financial calculations are made after Labor Day.

OREGON: GOP nominee Monica Wehby trails in the polls and in fund-raising, and it’s a state President Obama carried twice. But the GOP and its allies aren’t giving up yet. A group financed by the Koch Brothers just launched a multimillion ad by in the state, hoping to soften up support for Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeff Merkely.

Check back at the end of the month: if the numbers have moved, more money will follow. But if they don’t narrow much, don’t be surprised if Wehby gets squeezed and both national party groups and deep-pocketed Super PACs steer major resources to more competitive states.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Many Republican strategists in the state are frustrated Scott Brown isn’t polling better against incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen. But a few GOP activists insist Brown has moved the dial some in the past couple weeks, and remains in striking distance.

Also giving the GOP some hope even though it’s another state the President carried twice? One prominent GOP activist, borrowing the local slang a bit, suggested President Obama’s New Hampshire poll standing was “wicked bad.”

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Stuffitu

    Alrhough the most corrupt, incompetent, inept president in history never misses an opportunity to demean and diminish House Republicans ( and the whine about where all the hate comes from)' I notice the synchophants in the main stream media never mentions that the bill they do pass are bottled up and hidden by the equally corrupt Harry Reid and the smug, corrupt Senate democrat liberals.

    August 3, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  2. rick

    Interesting that mrs Bush and mrs Obama are doing this. And one who needs as much good publicty is missing. But then again they are not trying to push a unwanted book either. Probably the reason wasnt invited. At least when these two ladies speak. Dont stick their foot in mouth deeper. In fact. They are not silent on the touchy subjects like one is. And by past. Mrs Bush would chop a particular person off at ankles real fast. Would have been interesting to see a battle of wits with a un armed person though. Thats another reason one is missing. From the "former" first ladies gathering.

    August 3, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  3. vic

    First segment of “inside politics” was interesting
    What is tea party’s agenda? “paralyze the government” if a foreign group does this we will call them terrorist

    August 3, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. Peace

    You want to discuss anything concrete, please don't bring up Nia Malika. I never understand what this woman always says: This is not an attack on her. It is all about: ya, ya, ya, you know, ya, ya, you know, ya, ya, etc.etc. I never understand a single word what this lady wants to say. Sorry.

    August 3, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Stuffy – Still living in 2005? The most corrupt lying inept dirtbag in presidential history is living in Texas painting pooches. Thank God!

    August 3, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. NameFrank Deery

    Rand Paul has been and will be, as a Libertarian, against US intervention abroad.
    Back-peddling now is way too much like the
    current President, and we see the Mess the nation and world are in.

    As a Republican, I can tell you neither Rand nor Christie have a chance in 2016. I truly believe Mitt Romney will run one more time-with a woman VP candidate, and we have quite a few great Governors and Senators. Sen Ayotte, for one!!

    If Obama resigns or is impeached in 2015(might happen!)Democrats will have to run Biden, and Hillary
    Clinton might be VP. If she declines, watch
    Elizabeth Warren come in. That-alone-will get Romney a landslide!

    August 3, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  7. badtobone

    Two things will beat the democrats in November.
    Blame and excuses

    August 3, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Hector Slagg

    Aw, Well,
    WHEN IN DOUBT, RUN IN CIRCLES, SCREAM AND SHOUT. The "Tea Party" is trying to get the government back to Personal Responsibility. Something the people have forgotten in too many instances. The "Liberal's" are inanvertintly trying to Re-Invent the Old Soviet Union where the State Control's everything. That is the liberal agenda, not the Tea Party.

    August 3, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. just asking

    vic
    First segment of “inside politics” was interesting
    What is tea party’s agenda? “paralyze the government” if a foreign group does this we will call them terrorist
    --

    they are standing up for their principles. it is what they were elected to do. it is the democrat controlled senate and obama that are paralyzing government by demanding everything be done their way or obama will play dictator with his pen and phone. republicans pass bills that dirty harry reid refuses to bring to a vote. what is he afraid of? the bill passing and obama being forced to veto it, thus revealing exactly who is obstructing the government?

    August 3, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  10. Thomas

    Laura Ingraham , Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann will be doing Phyllis Schlafly impersonations this week and the week after at the all you can eat , right wing thing BBQ and comedy club in Frog Leg La.

    Bimbos on Parade

    August 3, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  11. MaryM

    Sorry Rand, you blew your chance at becoming President by hanging around with the southern avenger .Google the southern avenger. Although, the southern avenger has denied he is a racist, ALL the video and tape from his speeches and broadcast are available for ALL to SEE and Read !!

    August 3, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. steve

    Shedding political image is code for Etch-A-Sketch.

    August 3, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. Chris..E.Al

    I think its funny that that way over half of the regular posters on this site during weekdays cant afford internet service to post on the weekends and still support the leftist agenda . Now thats loyalty and deadication after all the betrayals and broken promises from the maharaja no doubt . Hmmm ??

    August 3, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  14. BP4

    Don't pay any attention to the money behind the curtain............its full of Koch........

    August 3, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  15. j. lopez

    The only thing the Republicans should fear is the voters this fall. We the people want congress to the job we sent them to Washington to do.

    1. balance the budget 2. protect our borders from illegals. 3. overturn Obamacare. 4. start dismantling the socialist safety net. ( the welfare state ) 5. put prayer back in our schools

    August 3, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. Trooth

    “He’s going to argue that he’s smack in the middle – the same place that George H.W. Bush was, that Reagan was, and that Ike was,” said Allen.

    Ike does not belong in the same conversation with Reagan and GW Bush when it comes to US intervention abroad. He clearly stated the dangers about the military industrial complex. Rand Paul loses what little support I still had left for him with this repositioning. He is clearly just another politican, not a principled man like he is father.

    August 3, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  17. penguin

    If Rand Paul backpedals on foreign policy as he has on Civil Rights it just shows he truly has no principals. It must be hard for him to claim libertarian values with a straight face

    August 3, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  18. Ian's Rushtache

    Hector Slagg says:
    August 3, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm
    Aw, Well,
    WHEN IN DOUBT, RUN IN CIRCLES, SCREAM AND SHOUT. The “Tea Party” is trying to get the government back to Personal Responsibility. Something the people have forgotten in too many instances. The “Liberal’s” are inanvertintly trying to Re-Invent the Old Soviet Union where the State Control’s everything. That is the liberal agenda, not the Tea Party.
    ____________________________
    Two corrections.

    1. Tea Party and personal responsibility. Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    2. Turning the US into the old USSR is the conservative perspective on what liberals ate trying to do. And this, along with everything else conservatives cry about, is not rooted in reality.

    August 3, 2014 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. Ian's Rushtache

    just asking says:
    August 3, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm
    vic
    First segment of “inside politics” was interesting
    What is tea party’s agenda? “paralyze the government” if a foreign group does this we will call them terrorist
    ——

    they are standing up for their principles. it is what they were elected to do. it is the democrat controlled senate and obama that are paralyzing government by demanding everything be done their way or obama will play dictator with his pen and phone. republicans pass bills that dirty harry reid refuses to bring to a vote. what is he afraid of? the bill passing and obama being forced to veto it, thus revealing exactly who is obstructing the government?
    ____________________

    Funny thing is if you replace Republicans and Reid in this with Democrats and Boehner it still rings true.

    August 3, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Thomas

    If Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann had been elected president , we would be rulers of the Galaxy !

    August 3, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. Dave

    Well thanks to our Dictator n chief this once proud country is no being flushed down the crapper and the retards aka Republicans worry about being liked fat chance. Meanwhile the mentally insane aka Reid,coo coo Peloci and others turn us into the great armpit of the world!

    August 3, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. Harry

    There is a difference between an isolationist foreign policy and a non interventionist foreign policy. Rand Paul is a non interventionist like his father. It is someone who believes in free trade and sound monetary policy, but at the same time does not interfere in other countries. An isolationist completely cuts off all links to the outside world, similar to North Korea. Please understand that there is a huge difference between the two.

    August 3, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  23. texasnotea

    Typical gop propaganda gibberish nonsense It's not torture because we say it's not, It's Ben Gossie because we say it is, The eyerrss because we say so, no emmagrachun reform until we say so, the President is a Muslim, not born here and is the antichrist because we say so. Same old story with only what they say so as fact

    August 3, 2014 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. Leftcoastrocky

    Rand needs to positively, forcefully and publicly divorce himself from his father's isolationist views - it cannot have it both ways.

    August 3, 2014 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  25. Leftcoastrocky

    Tea Party has two agenda items

    1. To destroy the Obama presidency and its legacy

    2. To cripple the federal government

    August 3, 2014 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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