We now know more about Carlos Danger’s body parts than we ever hoped to, yet oddly can offer no information about what his calves resemble. We can’t wait for the Obamacare comedy tour, if only to see what doctors will say about Alex Rodriguez’s injuries. President Obama is giving new speeches, but unless he’s got a baby to name, there’s no guarantee he’ll get new attention. We are now wondering if Edward Snowden will leave the Moscow airport before or after Rand Paul gets a visa to visit New Jersey. Congress has just a few more work days before a five-week vacation, yet precious little “work” to realistically get done. And we can all agree that nobody pulls off the bald look quite like George H.W. Bush.
Here’s a glimpse at some of the major stories your ABC News political unit will be tracking in the week ahead:
NO PUN AT ALL – The circus that is New York City politics is only missing a Big Dog – oh, and his wife, too. Yes, Bill and Hillary Clinton are among the prominent New Yorkers who haven’t weighed in on the latest revelations regarding Anthony Weiner’s more-recent-than-we-thought past. After Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin – the longtime Hillary Clinton aide – stood by her husband by standing up for him, Weiner kept his mayoral hopes alive. But Carlos Danger can’t even count how many other women he sexted with, and New Yorkers have seen things that can’t be unseen over the past few days. Whether Weiner hangs on is almost secondary to whatever private advice is flowing between the Clintons and Abedin/Weiner. As long as Huma’s in, Weiner’s money folks are likely to stick with him, though another few rounds of polling could change that.
DETHRONING KING- No, this has nothing to do with a certain infant prince. Republican condemnation for Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, has been swift and striking, after King upped his anti-immigrant rhetoric by suggesting that large numbers of children of undocumented immigrants are drug runners. For every valedictorian among that population, he said, “there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.” King, the most prominent opponent of comprehensive immigration reform in Congress, isn’t backing down. But nearly all Republican leaders are backing away from him, with House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor among those rushing to denounce his comments as “offensive,” “wrong,” “ignorant,” and “hateful.” That’s a statement on how careful Republicans realize they need to be in not offending Latinos as the immigration debate makes its slow way through Capitol Hill. The very folks King was insulting – the so-called DREAMers – are those targeted for help in gaining citizenship in GOP-sponsored legislation that’s expected to be unveiled this fall.
MARKED MAN MITCH – The marquis race of 2014, from this 2013 vantage point, is taking shape. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., got himself a primary challenger this past week, in tea party candidate Matt Bevin, a wealthy Louisville investment manager. Next comes the formal campaign rollout, on Tuesday, of Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s secretary of state and Democratic top recruit after Ashley Judd gave the race a pass. The dual challenges will further squeeze McConnell as he seeks a sixth Senate term, in a race that will epitomize GOP challenges in the midterms. The would-be McConnell-slayers don’t agree on much. But the 46-year-old Bevin and the 34-year-old Grimes will be making similar generational arguments against McConnell, at least implicitly. Grimes has already enlisted her grandmother, who’s well into her 90s, to ask in a campaign video, “What rhymes with Mitch?”
HAUL FOR HILLARY – July 31 is a reporting deadline in the world of Super PACs. That means the first glimpse into the finances of the buzziest new such entity of 2013: the Ready for Hillary PAC. The group’s has humble roots – it was organized by a former Clinton campaign volunteer, in the Virginia suburbs – but now features strong branches, with names like James Carville, Harold Ickes, and Sen. Claire McCaskill among those involved with fundraising efforts. The PAC’s organizers say they’re more interested in gathering names than building up a bankroll, and the self-imposed limit of $25,000 per individual means the group is unlikely to post eye-popping sums this far out from the election. But as the Clinton juggernaut takes shape, this will be another marker that other possible 2016 contenders will notice. Who knows, Hillary Clinton herself may be paying attention.
WORDS AND DEEDS (MAYBE) – President Obama’s new push on the economy hasn’t included much that’s actually “new.” The White House is promising, though, some “new ideas to create American jobs” on Tuesday, when the president travels to an Amazon facility in Chattanooga, Tenn. For all the hype, White House aides have made clear that this series of speeches is more about setting the stage for the fall – and getting the president’s “groove” back before then – than it is about offering up bills that Congress would never pass anyway. To that end, Obama is jousting with this awful creature called “Washington” that he says has strayed from focusing on creating jobs during … well, much of his own presidency. With some Republicans threatening to shut down the government or refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless they extract concessions from Obama, the president gave a preview of his fall messaging when he declared this past week, “That’s just being a deadbeat.”