Five Stories You'll Care About in Politics This Week

President Obama readies some legacy-building in Selma, and Jeb Bush hits Iowa.

quicklist: 2title:JEB’S JAUNTStext:If you’re looking for an official kickoff for the retail phase of the presidential campaign, this may as well be it. Jeb Bush breaks the Iowa and New Hampshire seal in the week ahead, with his first visit to the kickoff caucus state this weekend, then stops in the first-in-the-nation primary state next Friday. He’s the last major GOP contender to hit the most critical early states. The Iowa visit includes an agricultural forum featuring most of his 2016 rivals, with some calories on top in the form of a visit to a Pizza Ranch in Cedar Rapids. Bush will get some early practice in facing the skepticism many conservatives harbor toward his possible candidacy. The political world will get a glimpse of the wonky, distinctively Jeb style of town-hall campaigning; in Nevada this past week, he made a point of taking questions and offering answers in both English and Spanish.

quicklist: 4title:BOEHNER AND BLUSTERtext:The federal government did shut down this past week – but blame the snow, not Congress. Almost lost in the flurry of news was the fact that House Speaker John Boehner went forward with a “clean” bill funding the Department of Homeland Security, despite howls of protest from the tea party and its favorites in Congress who wanted to roll back the president’s actions on immigration. That move prompted new cries for Boehner’s ouster, though few expect those to go any further than previous coup attempts. It did, however, highlight the fractious nature of even Boehner’s expanded majority. And he’ll have to cobble votes together again soon: The next debt ceiling deadline is March 15, meaning more brinksmanship is in the offing.