June 22nd, 2014
09:09 AM ET
9 years ago

The "Inside Politics" Forecast: Obama tries to change the subject… again

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?

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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:

TW Shannon

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.

Filed under: Inside Politics • Iraq • Obama administration • Syria
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. bil

    A while back we thought Assad was a monster and should be replaced, now he looks good compared to his enemies that are taking control of parts of Syrian and Western Iraq. Saudis don't wants us to interfere nor does Iran and Shiites of Iraq. We should do nothing until the dust settles..

    June 22, 2014 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  2. roofinreality

    Pivoting to the economy is a smart thing. Under Obama's presidency,
    Stock market has doubled
    Unemployment has decreased a full percentage point
    Employment figures continue to grow month after month
    GDP is in positive territory
    Corporations are sitting on TRILLIONS in CASH, first time in history

    Makes sense if I were a Dem to try to get to this place of conversation, especially when you consider a Repub didn't vote on anything to help these things come about.

    June 22, 2014 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  3. DH

    Repubs are going down this Nov and they know it as they are just throwing bs on the wall hoping ANYTHING will stick.......it ain't sticking, but It's loud and it's consistent, it's racist, it's ugly and Repubs are wrong just like they were for 8 long bush years. The rest of us with brains are just going to VOTE AGAIN in Nov against any repub as they have zero plans only obstruction and the word "no"

    June 22, 2014 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  4. emperorr

    Iraq war over, Afghanistan war coming to an end, over 50 consecutive months of private sector job growth (over 9 million jobs created), unemployment rate and federal deficit lowest they've been since pre-recession levels, Bin Laden dead, desperately needed healthcare reform passed, Don't Ask Don't Tell repealed, more money spent on renewable energy than any other president, GDP up, consumer confidence up, housing market and stock market up...

    But but but... drones... and Benghazi... and and... Kenya!

    June 22, 2014 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  5. steve

    This guy fooled a lot of people.

    June 22, 2014 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  6. woodlander2

    I keep thinking about Clint Eastwood and the National Republican Convention. Clint's monologue that drew so much critique from the left and national media, has now been proven to be dead on. Obama is a stuff shirt or empty chair.

    June 22, 2014 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  7. Robert N. constant

    In the final analysis the Republican party bosses like the Kook Brothers spewing millions into Republican Party coffers are calling the shots. They say "jump" and the Republicans jump in anticipation of the financial rewards like so many doggie treats.
    The highest bidder often wins the auction. What used to be a Constitutional Republic is now a de facto Plutocracy with Daddy Warbucks pulling the strings and lining the pockets of Republican puppets.

    June 23, 2014 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  8. j.v.hodgson

    Pivots used as word with derogatory connotations the lady is wrong EITC and minimum wage have never been off the agenda EITC has legislation but republicans will not vote on it. minimum wage Obama took the step of executive order and still pushes legislation.... it has resulted in many states doing it at that level of government . its moving and again the republican house says it will never approve any such bill even if it gets past the Senate. same ole same ole party of no.
    Pryor voting with Obama 90% of the time. Good for him he'll win again because GOPers know much better how to" toe the line" and do nothing worth while.

    June 23, 2014 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  9. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    Ahhhhhhhh.... Ummmmmmm.....
    Let "Me" be clear

    Did "I" not TELL you that
    "I" am just too AWESOME !!!

    BLM, INS, NLRB, and The State Dept.
    are ALL working just fine.....
    UNDER "My" administration... PERIOD

    TRUST "Me"
    "I" am NOT a liar

    June 23, 2014 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  10. pjoe

    Anything to not have to talk about the "dog ate the email evidence". Maybe its time to attack an aspirin factory like Clinton did after the Monica story got hot.

    June 23, 2014 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  11. harvty

    This is the most disingenuous, dysfunctional adminstration ever! This community organizer in chief has weakend this country in so many ways, it is breathtaking. He is a fundraiser/politician; not a leader. He seems to enjoy the perks of the office, but is inept at carrying out the duties of the office. Resentful of the dunderheads that elected this woefully unprepared man to his current position.

    June 23, 2014 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
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