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. brownie

    its so funny how LIBERALS cant get over the iraq war and its so funny how LIBERALS cant see the pictures of 1.3 MILLIONS women and children getting rape and killed during saddam's regime but its ok to bring illegal alien to our countries especially children to help them during election

    June 22, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    Well, I think RYAN the GOP clown that has been living OFF the goverment sence childhood WILL BE ANOTHER CANTOR in November ALONG WITH ALOT MORE REPUBLICANS and some dems. If I was a GOP politician , I would be VERY AFAIRD!!!!!!

    June 22, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  3. NameFrank Deery

    Obama is a disaster and should resign. He is a good family man, but a bad manager/leader. Fundraising is fine, but not
    why he was elected, but he spends way too
    Much time there. And gets away with it-
    which no Republican could! Race card? Liberal media? Yes. Problem is: our nation, our borders , And the world is worse now
    than under Bush. Crime is rampant, from credit card hacking to drive-by shootings in
    Oakland. Weakness, like wealth, trickles down-from The Top.

    And, under Bush, this ISIS leader, was incarcerated. He was released in 2009-under
    Obama! Like the Gitmo 5 for deserter Bergdahl! Where is he? Under wraps.

    If Baghdad falls, so will he; and this IRS
    computer-glich spin is not resonating with most of us, who have IT sections which Can retrieve old emails. Thus, his sinking job-approval ratings.

    June 22, 2014 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. texasnotea

    America wants out of all the wars period, it was mandated in the last two elections. Besides, what other outcome did we foresee in the first place? Really?

    June 22, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Who was worse Saddam Hussein or Ahmed Chalabi ?

    In the case of Ahmed Chalabi, we saw an unelected power broker, not even a U.S. citizen, exerting enormous influence over our decision to go to war.

    Never Again !

    June 22, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. Rogue351

    The violent religious Tea Party is Not the answer. Americans killing Americans was never in the plan of the founding fathers. We have seen enough violence in this country with their obsession with guns now Bobby Jindel is calling for an armed organized attack on our capital. Enough is enough. A vote for the tea party is a vote for violence. The USA has had it's more than its fair share with our crazy gun laws. No more violence !

    June 22, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. Winston Smith

    We are living out the script of a movie, I believe the title was Tail Wags Dog. We are living this way because we've been fed half truths and sometimes outright lies by the media. Many don't seem to have the necessary mental acumen to think for themselves. They hear some talking head spew out his news medias take on a situation, and it becomes gospel to be followed to the letter. Then a few get disillusioned when opposing ideas surface, and the lower intelligentsia among us becomes violent. If our perceptions of situations are to become clear as crystal, independent thought has to be applied. Quit being pawns of corporate interests, regardless of corporate size or lobbying power.

    June 22, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @NameFrank Deery: "And, under Bush, this ISIS leader, was incarcerated. He was released in 2009-under

    Blatant lie – stop watching fox. According to the Defense Department, the man who heads ISIS was released in 2004, long before Obama took office, and was not recaptured.

    "Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim Al Badry, also known as ‘Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’ was held as a ‘civilian internee’ by U.S. Forces-Iraq from early February 2004 until early December 2004, when he was released," the Pentagon said in a statement. "He was held at Camp Bucca. A Combined Review and Release Board recommended ‘unconditional release’ of this detainee and he was released from U.S. custody shortly thereafter. We have no record of him being held at any other time."

    June 22, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. TheTruth

    You can forget about Mitt Romney

    America Did.

    June 22, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  10. Gary

    Thanks for making that point brownie. No, us liberals can't get over a war where thousands of brave Americans where killed based on a lie. Unlike you righties, who start wars, fail in them and just move on like it never happened.

    June 22, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. Gunderson

    A lot of people suspected Obama would be a disaster from the beginning. Some are still in denial but what is, is.

    June 22, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. Chris-E...al

    Dems are just backward folks bless dem hearts .

    June 22, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. J Anthony

    @brownie: yes, because the ramifications of a perpetual, for-profit war is so easy to get over. If the parties actually worked together to solve problems, rather than playing power-games and making them worse, things would be very different. That goes for the citizens as well, most of whom act as if politics is just another spectator sport. Get informed and engaged, do your part to make the world a better place, or just go away.

    June 22, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. Edmund Charles

    We need less partisan politicians and more pragmatic decision-makers and if this means a reform of the existing electoral process, then so be it! Politics has become a career and even dynasty for far too many elected office holders and we also have a situation where the 'will of the people' is being negated by judges and legislators. The process of running for political and judicial offices is damaging the governance process, everyone is worried about the next-election, why not have single term limits of longer length and reduce electoral turmoil and special interests from our system,?

    June 22, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. lanson

    No more war. We should have never been there.

    June 22, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. McBob79

    More half-truths and spin from the fast food president.

    June 22, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |

    Really can't wait to see Kevin McCarthy,Thom Tillis,Sheldon Adelson,Rupert Mourdoch,Karl Rove,Lindsey Graham,John McCain,Hayley Barbour,Grover Norquist and the GOP stuff Jeb Bush down the tea party's throats EXACTLY like they stuffed Romney down. Straight no chaser. Hillary will drink to that.

    June 22, 2014 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  18. dave

    Little can be done about the domestic economy, we've had supply side economics since Reagan, hence reaganomics, the Reagan revolution, voodoo economics, etc. Current republicans in the House and Senate won't allow any change from reaganomics, that's what gridlock is all about. We are stuck on the failed economic policies of a long dead republican President, who wasn't even an economist. No one, certainly not Obama, can claim the economy until reaganomics is gone, but we can't get rid of the failed republican economic policies until all the republicans are gone, or greatly diminished. Reaganomics is the top issue in coming elections, possibly the only issue, yet it is rarely, if ever mentioned, that's why we have elections about nothing, everything but, the top issue. If the right wing pundits are right it's likely that we will never get rid of the failed republican economic policies, we will just ride them out, until the end, the end of our economy as a major World force.

    June 22, 2014 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  19. blome republiklans blome

    dems are just backward folk, not quite as backward as getting into two wars with no exit strategy from the moronic rwnj cowboys. right Chris-E al Habib.

    June 22, 2014 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  20. A Kickin Donkey

    No matter how much you anti-Obamites hope to make it so, the President will go down in history as better than GWB, whose legacy WILL BE lying us into the WMD-less Iraq war. He started it and he will own it. The subsequent Iraqi kaos WILL NOT accrue to Obama but rather Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld managerial post invasion incompetence. None of this can be factually refuted and history books for 2024 High school graduates will forever teach this.

    Mr. Obama will be best remembered for ENDING the wars. That's what history books chronicle. The elimination of OSB will also be in that paragraph.

    OBAMA will get FDR-esque remembrance for "QBAMACARE", which has reached critical mass and can not be either repealed nor replaced [because the GOP has no policy solutions to replace it with]. If the right doesn't watch it, Barack Will be the 5th head on Rushmore or the face that replaces McKinley on a reissued $500 Bill.

    June 22, 2014 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  21. Winston Smith

    Want to place the blame for many of the ills the country is experiencing? Look toward the corporate owned media for some of the answers. Daily whipsawing of the population, daily rundowns of how screwed up you are and how screwed you're gonna be in the near future. Droughts, famine rape and just plain violence reported daily by a person with a smile or grin on their face. You want to make you life a little better? Learn to think for yourselves, and spend less time looking for someone else to do your thinking for you. Make the world a better place, one person at a time. And it starts with you.

    June 22, 2014 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  22. mountainlady5281

    @NameFrankDeery You're at least partially right. The President hasn't had time to do a lot of the things he promised because he's been too busy cleaning up after George Bush. And the Republicans don't have to do fund raising because they have the Koch Brothers and other huge corporations paying all the freight to make sure the Republicans continue to what they're told while in office. Then there's the GOP refrain....."it's Obama's fault" for everything apparently that's wrong with the world. The Republicans need not only a serious reality check but they need to start acting like grown ups and taking responsibility for their own failings rather than blaming it all on the other guys.

    June 22, 2014 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  23. DaveinIL

    Obama Administration Crisis Management Plan A:
    Look! Over there! Squirrel!

    June 22, 2014 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  24. skytag

    I can't wait until we have a Republicans President again, because I can't wait to see what to see what happens when Republican promises of rapid economic growth don't pan out. The Republicans will make endless excuses and Democrats will justifiably crucify them.

    The "problem" with the economy isn't that the "recovery" is has been so slow, but that this is the new normal. In fact, economic growth would have been much slower under Bush had the economy not been artificially goosed by unwarranted deficit spending, a doubling of consumer debt between 2000 and 2007, the worst housing bubble in U.S. history, and Fed policies intended to encourage growth but which in fact encouraged financial speculation and all of the aforementioned.

    Few people want to admit this, but we have emerged from an extremely rare, almost unique blip in human economic history, a period during which technological and industrial advances had truly transformative impacts on economic growth. The problem now is that by and large the benefits in terms of economic growth have run their course.

    The gains resulting from transitioning from a horse-drawn society to one with cars, trucks and airliners can't be repeated. The gains resulting from massive numbers of women leaving the home and joining the workforce can't be repeated. We will not see another massive increase in the percentage of the population graduating from college like we saw in the last century.

    In short, the changes and advancements that fueled the economic growth we saw in most of the 20th century have worked their magic and established a new norm. It's highly unlikely we'll ever seen such transformative advances again, but without them we should expect economic growth to be minimal at best, and nowhere near the levels we came to expect in the 20th century.

    Obama's detractors are convinced he's single-handedly responsible for the state of our economy even though established industrial economy in the world is doing significantly better. They believed Mitt Romney's promise that he could create 250K jobs a month. But, and I'm sorry to have to say this, I think the days of those kinds of economic gains are behind us and have been for years. The only question is, how long will it take us to accept this reality and start dealing with it instead of pursuing policies designed to paper over it and avoid dealing with it.

    June 22, 2014 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  25. barky

    The progressive way. Lie,cheat,steal. the end justifies the means.

    June 22, 2014 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
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