June 22nd, 2014
09:09 AM ET
8 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. don in albuquerque

    The Iraq "Crisis". Not our "crisis", did we go in and illegally destroy a nation? You bet. Was there any earthly good reason to do so? Nope. The whole thing predicated on lies start to finish. Can we do anything to fix it???? Not in a thousand years....we destroyed any sense of stability there. And we wonder what happened to our world reputation.........we certainly have a new reputation now, one that the rest of the world may soon grow tired of.

    June 22, 2014 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  2. otlset

    “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."

    Hahahaha! Nobody wants to be associated with the lying loser Obama! He's toxic, get away from him!. Get it all you mindless CNN board Obama drones? Obama was INDEED one big ass mistake America! Fools.

    June 22, 2014 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  3. small sonkarlay

    Shame on your

    June 22, 2014 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  4. king

    The repubs are mad as hell that they dont have a shoot from the hip president that they can manipulate into doing their bidding like they did with bush.

    June 22, 2014 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. Stuffitu

    After the November elections the subject will be all impeachment all of the time.

    June 22, 2014 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  6. daviddavid

    Worst POTUS ever, Jimmy Carter says thank you Obama.

    June 22, 2014 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  7. truindep

    Obama did nothing but help with destabilizing the Middle East , can any one say "Arab Spring"

    June 22, 2014 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  8. iran is evil =hizboallah=bashar al asad= nori al maleki=terror

    BUSH gave Iraq on a silver plater to evil Iran and Hezbollah terrorists , now Iran are destroying middleast and exporting terror to Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan and killing quarter million child and women in Syria alone while USA AND UN are silent of the Syrian shia crimes., this double standard policy and Hippocrat act by Obama to make deal with Iran =Making deal with the devil will coast life and money and more gas price and bring no stability as long as NORI AL HALEKI AND THE SHIA ARE IN POWER. wake up . Search the word TAQEYA ....the shia use taqey to lie and lie and lie this is the way shia cult religion work is not like the Sunni who based the religion on faith only .sending advisers to Iraq!!!! to help the shia killing the Sunni!?why dont do that in Syria and get rid of AL asad the minority cult alwai. why asking IRAN to enter Iraq and help this is an invasion OF ANOTHER COUNTRY , Can we ask Mexico to come to USA !!! THEY WILL LOVE IT TO KICK SOME TRASH.....Iran minorities asking us to go and invade Iran why the world dont help Iran minorities and get rid of the mullahs and the evil ayatollah .Dont sale weapons to both, sanction both , Sunni must have their land back as the kurds have up north and the shia have in the south, BAGHDAD IS FOUNDED AND BUILD BY SUNNI abo jafar AL mansoor so all these Sunni land belong to Sunni devide Iraq to 3 parts ...like you did in Sudan and every body take his share from the oil and water if the shia dont give oil to Sunni , the Sunni can cut the water as it come from north to south . and the Kurd must share kerkuk between Kurd and Sunni Arabs. CNN is wrong to give you the map....the shia are the minority in Iraq. as all the million Kurd in north Iraq are SUNNI MUSLIM, AND THERE ARE 14 MILLION SUNNI ARAB.23 MILLION , WHILE THE SHIIA ARE ONLY 12 MILLION . Saddam was good in Iraq for 99% of the people. BUT USA LISTEN TO THE EVIL AHMAD AL JALBI, AL PAJAJI, ALJAFARI, NORI AL MALEKI AND ALL THOSE EVIL IRANIANS , The shia are 65% in Saddam government, the shia brought the communist party to Iraq and the Baath party to devide Iraqi. they are evil. and the shia are supporting the Baath fascist party in Syria now who killed quarter million women, child, old men , Kurd and Christians. IRAN IS WORKING TO BUILD NUCLEAR BOMB.THEY DO HAVE WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION NOT IRAQ.

    June 22, 2014 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  9. rs

    Change the subject? Pivot? I don't see the President doing it, but I do see that on the Right. Today its, what Benghazi day again? Yesterday was IRS. Friday was Central American Children, Thursday was Iraq, Wednesday was the economy....

    All well and good. The GOP needs to discuss these issues, out loud, in public and with the President. But they aren't. This is their little game of phony "controversies" being cycled for the news- nothing more, nothing less. These issues are largely settled. There IS nothing to the IRS; the GOP and the neocons destroyed Iraq; The President of the United States has no control over Central America- or their kids; and on and on.

    Keen observers may note that the GOP does't offer ideas, assistance, or discussion- just whine and lots of it. Proving yet again that 6 years ago the GOP was worn for America- and they still are now.

    June 22, 2014 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  10. vic , nashville ,tn

    Is GOP is ready for 2016? (Inside Politics)

    Two words “Iraq war” many voters never forget
    Dick Cheney is appearing in the media again like 2002, Rand Paul is saying “I will not send my son” and saying stay away from Iraq war. Two different opinions from same party not like 2003.

    Rand Paul anti Iran Ron Paul not

    Eric Cantor (Most powerful Republican) defeats shock the Business community.


    RNC chair “I don't think it's divided at all,” …..

    June 22, 2014 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  11. Lizzie

    rs, it's not the republicans but the press who tells you what the theme of today is.

    June 22, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  12. Alan/Maui

    Nov 4th....

    June 22, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  13. Marcus (from...?)

    otlset – Hahahaha! Nobody wants to be associated with the lying loser Obama! He's toxic, get away from him!. Get it all you mindless CNN board Obama drones? Obama was INDEED one big ass mistake America! Fools.

    The losers are the guys that have na approval of less than a third of the POTUS... and still think they're 'winning' anything.
    What we get is that guys like you don't have real arguments, hence the insults you throw up and down.
    As for the 'mistake', it's your opinion, not sustained in any fact you can put forth.

    June 22, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. Wes

    obama is a disaster.

    June 22, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. Anthony

    On the other hand, Republicans are stuck on investigating a Benghazi coverup, even though they don't have evidence of a coverup, now that Obamacare has failed to fail.

    June 22, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  16. TM

    Bush made Iraq unstable with his fake war, now the right wing nuts wants to blame Obama, typical response.

    June 22, 2014 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. Name. willard

    Obama are not expert his job presdient for 5 yrs also he should be impeach right

    June 22, 2014 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  18. Gary

    And if the economy wasn't rebounding, the right would be screaming about that too. Once again, John King, the press and the right only want to focus on the negative.

    June 22, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. Rick McDaniel

    The entire political arena is simply the quest for power, and corruption, in both parties. I think the 2 party system is headed for extinction, as the corruption in America reaches astronomical levels.

    June 22, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. Hillary Izexi

    Obama playing the victim when he is reaping what he sows.
    – IRS blatantly destroying evidence to cover up his IRS controvey
    – the VA is a mess
    – criminal immigrants illegally flood the border because if the lack of immigration law enforcement, the DREAM Act, and the promise of amnesty
    – millions of US Citizens are unemployed as employers can no longer afford to higher with ObamaCare employment taxes and the constant threat if a minimum wage hike
    – trading 5 terrorists for one traitor
    – etc., etc., etc.

    Obama: pushing the United States full-steam-ahead straight into the iceberg as we are doomed like the Titanic.

    June 22, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. drake mallard

    Back in 2002, when Congress was debating giving George W. Bush
    expansive authorization to go to war in Iraq, one of the main concerns
    of skeptics was that the authorization could be used by the White House
    to engage in acts of war in the future that had only a tangential
    relation to the supposed purpose of the invasion of Iraq: To capture and
    destroy Iraq’s massive stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.

    Those stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons turned out to be
    completely imaginary, but Congress voted to give the White House
    authorization to go to war in Iraq anyway, without any time limit or
    specific objective that was to be achieved. Congress brushed aside all
    concerns, chanting the mantra United We Stand… United We Stand…

    On at least 532 separate occasions, Bush and these three key officials, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (or was trying to produce or obtain them), links to Al Qaeda, or both.”

    On July 2004, the Republican majority led Senate Select Committee released the Intelligence Senate Report on Iraqi WMD Intelligence, which identified numerous failures in intelligence gathering and “analysis” (i.e., interpretation). However, Republicans defended the Bush administration’s statements on Iraq.

    An investigation into the administration’s use of the intelligence was delayed for three years due to Republicans claiming it wasn’t as important (Senator Roberts, R-KS) as other pending items. Phase two of the investigation was released in 2007, but not all of the report was released. It determined, “our Committee has concluded that the Administration made significant claims that were not supported by the intelligence.”

    June 22, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. Tom

    Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!

    I know three times is a lot but after the disaster of Obama's 2nd Pres and the documentary about Mitt made him really likable it's his time. Hiliary will crash and burn if she even runs.

    June 22, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  23. Thomas

    If Mitt Romney was KIng , Ann would be Queen .

    Things would be simple again , more like a 1950s sit com .

    Make America safe again , bring back Mr. Roger's neighborhood.

    June 22, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. Tom

    Talk all you want about Obama's "Arab Spring" it doesn't mean anything if you end up with the "Fall Apart Fall"

    June 22, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. PKRipper

    Barrack Hussein Obama will go down as the worst president in American history. He'll even make Carter look good. If you were naive enough to believe this snake oil salesman please don't vote in anymore elections, your judgement stinks!

    June 22, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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