February 9th, 2014
09:09 AM ET
6 years ago

Five takeaways from Sunday’s 'Inside Politics'

1. Avoid the landmines: That might be the best way to describe the GOP’s evolving 2014 strategy. House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to slow-walk immigration, and now his effort to get a debt ceiling increase with minimal drama, is part of an effort to keep GOP internal tensions to a minimum, and the focus on President Barack Obama and his health care law to a maximum.

2. The rise of Rand: Our new CNN/ORC Poll looking at early GOP favorites for 2016 showed a big drop for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and that slide drew most of the media commentary. But what also stands out is Rand Paul at 13%. Yes, a modest number. And yes, it is too early to put too much stock in any poll. But he is working at it harder than any other 2016 GOP prospect so far, both in terms of travels and with consistently tough criticism of both Bill and Hillary Clinton.

3. Two for the price of one?: That was an early slogan back in 1991 and early 1992 when then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton was running for president and Hillary Clinton was viewed as a big campaign asset. Any chance of seeing them together on the trail in 2014? Will we see much of Secretary Clinton at all?

TBD, as we wait for her to finish a memoir of her time as secretary of state, and for candidates to assess whether she would help or hurt.

4. There’s no place like home: Unless you don’t have one. Jonathan Martin discussed his scoop that veteran Kansas GOP Sen. Pat Roberts doesn’t have a home back home, and raised the question worth watching: Will outside conservative groups that enjoy targeting the GOP establishment let it slide, or see an opening to boost a tea party challenger who to date was seen as beyond a long shot?

5. Early test: Look for the Chamber of Commerce and other GOP allies to flood the zone with spending in Florida’s 13th Congressional District over the next couple weeks. There is a March 11 special election for the seat last held by the late Republican Rep. Bill Young. But the outcome could in essence be decided sooner: Absentee ballots are likely to count for more than half, maybe 60%, of the vote, and the race is viewed as very tight.

Because the President’s health care plan has been a major flashpoint, the results will be seen as an early test of the GOP strategy to make 2014 a referendum on Obamacare.

Filed under: Inside Politics
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. vic , nashville ,tn

    “2015 many senators will get ready for 2016 so no immigration reform in 2015”
    I like that last point

    2014 referendum on Obama care it may work but many Americans like “Give raise to America” good chance for democrats if they push hard minimum wage

    February 9, 2014 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  2. Tampa Tim

    If after the republican obstruction you have any money left, send it to the FL 13 to help Alex sink tea bagger Jolly.

    February 9, 2014 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  3. Strategerist

    Obama and the Dems are not interested in governing. They simply move from one wedge issue to another trying to blame the GOP for anything and everything.

    If the GOP takes the Senate, then Obama will be given bills that would help to grow the economy using ideas that actually work. He would be forced to explain why he is vetoing so many bills to help the economy recover.

    That's why they've given up on the House and focused solely on the Senate. They'll use every smear tactic and blame game in the book over the next several months.

    February 9, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  4. Name new york

    Name new york ast point is irrelevant. Zoombies are suppose to be dead. How can Zoombies be dead or alive?

    February 9, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  5. wasjustthinking

    The CBO director, Doug Elmendorf, sat before Congress yesterday and answered questions.

    During this, it was mentioned by a representative from New Mexico, that the CBO had done an analysis of the Senate's version of immigration reform and had found it would be good for the economy, and would decreases deficit and debt, and Doug Elmendorf agreed that this was accurate.

    One of the other questions asked of him, was what can we do that will give us the most "bang for our buck" to grow the economy, and he said, anything that gets money into the hands of people quickly who will spend it rather than save it.

    He then mentioned one of the best examples of this type of value for the dollar for our economy is to extend unemployment benefits.

    So what do the GOP do the very next day? The exact opposite.

    They filibustered unemployment benefits in the Senate today, and then Boehner says immigration reform will likely not get done this year.

    They seem to have zero interest in helping the economy or in doing what is right for our country

    February 9, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. g

    Republicans creating poverty since 1980

    February 9, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Tampa Tim

    Strategerist – What you are describing is republican "Rocket Surgery." There are no republican bills to grow the economy. There is only repealing ACA and women's reproductive rights, and republican government shutdowns.

    February 9, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. Thomas

    Did John Boehner stop smoking analog cigarets and switch to the new digital vapor nicotine delivery system ?

    He looks like the guy who used to say , " Id Rather Fight Then Switch , the guy with the black eye .

    February 9, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. Getoverit

    @Tampa Tim

    There are no republican bills to grow the economy.
    LOL! Sure there are. You need look no further than Harry Reid's trash can.

    February 9, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. vic , nashville ,tn

    “We don’t trust Obama on immigration reform ” GOP but On Meet the Press today Sen. Schumer gave this solution

    “There’s a simple solution: let’s enact the law this year but simply not let it actually start until 2017, after President Obama’s term is over.”

    Is GOP ready for that? NO

    February 9, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. Gunderson

    Some of you so funny. Republicans creating poverty since 1980. How so? Democrats in charge of the Congress for 40 years. Sorry! If after Republican obstruction you have any money left, Bla, Bla, Bla. Liberal's run up over 17 Trillion Dollar Federal debt lat 100 years. Sorry! No money, just Red Ink. Now Liberals have raise National Debt. Sorry! Over 17 Trillion blown. Sorry! Out of money. Liberals want give 12 to 25 million Amnesty. Sorry they all go on Welfare. No money. Avoid Land Mines. How hell you do that. Liberals sold you down river. Sorry!

    February 9, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. Thaddeus

    Did you know, that congress became dysfunctio­nal after the Republican­s were elected in 2010. We've seen and heard all the showmanshi­p from the Republican­s about their budget cuts.
    The tragedy is that President Obama’s attempt to right the economy and provoke a vibrant recovery would have solved the nation’s financial woes, but even he fell victim to the phony “deficit reduction” scam under the guise of fiscal responsibility. It appears that there will continue to be anemic job growth and dire warnings from economic experts that America has ignored the unemployment epidemic for too long.
    I'm not a "Never Had." I know what it's like to pay bills on time and have a little left over. I remember vacations and going out to dinner. As a "Used-to-Have," I know exactly what Corporate America, lobbyists and politicians have taken away from me; & because Republicans are Hell-bent and duty-bound to hamper economic recovery by doing what they do best; kill Americans’ jobs!!!!

    February 9, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  13. badtobone

    Dems had all three the first two yrs (2008,2009) the only thing that was passed was aca "obamacare " tax. And it has flopped so now the only thing left is to blame republicans for there five yr mistake.

    February 9, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. Just

    No amnesty for the criminal illegal invaders. End the birthright to prevent future dreamers.

    February 9, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  15. 1Joyce


    Couldn't agree more.

    February 9, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. Tampa Tim

    Bad – Please check. Obama had 58 senators for 9 months, ( until Sept. 2009 ). Check your math, three years?

    February 9, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  17. jerrylax

    Well obama has had five years to do something with this, put forth something workable and we have nothing! He has however, managed to inflame the middle east and alienate many of our long time friends throughout the world. America has more faith in Russia's ability to keep the olympics safe than obama's ability to keep our country safe, our intel community is a mess as it was post Clinton. Jobs report is horrible as we are in a post recession period..as obama's failed jobs agenda proves. This fall we need to drain the swamp in the elections, tie obama down and in 2016 drain more of the swamp (both sides) and take our country back…elect some adult leadership!

    February 9, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. 1Joyce

    Tampa Tim said "There is only repealing ACA and women's reproductive rights, and republican government shutdowns"

    If that is all you're seeing, then you're not looking very hard.

    February 9, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. 1Joyce

    Thaddeus – It is not that Congress became dysfunctional after the Republicans gained control, it is just that someone is finally fighting what this President is trying to do to our country – not just rubber stamping everything he wants to do.

    February 9, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  20. Tampa Tim

    Get over – house bills that did not contain repealing women's rights and repealing ACA are non existent. I am not a Harry Reid fan, but he is correct. Tell your brain dead orange man to bring the senate bipartisan immigration bill to a vote.

    February 9, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Punishment should fit the offense

    I find it ironic that the U.S. suffers the same perplexing dilemma as American Indians did in 1492. Will we learn from the mistakes made then, or will truth come to light. I implore congress too digest the scenario completely. Our integrity will be tested on this one.~

    February 9, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  22. Gurgyl

    ACA is a Law. Period. USA needed. Raise minimum wage to 12/

    February 9, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. Gurgyl

    That deficit is from 2wars, Reagan trickle down idiocy. Period.

    February 9, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  24. KRB

    "No amnesty for the criminal illegal invaders. End the birthright to prevent future dreamers."

    I agree it should done thus; but it should be retroactive to cover you "criminal illegal invader" grandparents who did it first. I get frustrated with these 'soul-less' anti-immigrants who only see opportunities to pull up the ladder when they are up there. The immigration laws we have are all results of historically trying to legalize illegal entries into the country 'after the fact' including their 'ever righteous Anglo-Saxon ancestors. I am worried that these are the same people who cloth themselves in Christian values that they so adamantly oppose. I am now understanding the concept of "functional illiteracy".

    February 9, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  25. morrie

    The only thing that will get done will be the republican vote on woman health Issues

    February 9, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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