5 Stories You'll Care About in Politics This Week

The book that's rocking the 2016 campaign and Obama faces critics on TPP deal.

ByABC News
April 26, 2015, 4:42 AM
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton attends The Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards for Advancing Women in Peace and Security, in the Riggs Library at Georgetown University in Washington, April 22, 2015.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton attends The Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards for Advancing Women in Peace and Security, in the Riggs Library at Georgetown University in Washington, April 22, 2015.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

— -- Here's a glimpse at some of the stories the ABC News political team will be tracking in the week ahead:


The book that's rocked the early part of the presidential campaign won’t even be released for another full week. But the reporting out of and inspired by “Clinton’s Cash” will follow Hillary Clinton wherever she next pops up on the trail, most likely South Carolina. It will also follow Bill and Chelsea Clinton all the way to Africa, where they will arrive Wednesday for an extended trip designed to highlight Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative projects.

That trip culminates in a Clinton initiative event in Morocco, where donations from the government drew the wrong kind of headlines even before the book buzz began. Chelsea Clinton is promising more transparency, while the Clinton campaign is going to war – in the hopes that the book is dismissed as a rightwing hatchet job.


President Obama is taking on some of his fiercest critics – even though they happen to be inside his own tent. The president has chosen to adapt a remarkably aggressive strategy in selling a key trade deal, accusing some of his fellow Democrats of being “dishonest” and flat "wrong" in opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal. That would include people like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and former Gov. Martin O’Malley -- the latter two of whom happen to be gathering in South Carolina over the weekend for Democratic Party events in advance of 2016.

Hillary Clinton won’t be on the trail with them. But Clinton’s non-committal stance on the trade deal reflects her political predicament, which is exacerbated by the fact that NAFTA – a Clinton administration achievement -- is so widely loathed now by organized labor and its friends in the progressive community.


President Obama’s stunning revelation that an American and an Italian citizen were killed in a CIA drone strike has restarted a debate over a policy that’s been a linchpin of this administration’s national-security policy. The incident has prompted internal and external examinations of the standards used to authorize strikes, in addition to talk of a "hostage czar" who can coordinate with families and advocate for US hostages. It’s also primed to become a political topic, and not just among Republicans eager to second-guess this White House.

Sen. Rand Paul has been the fiercest critic of the president’s drone policies among the 2016ers, which is one reason Sen. John McCain has been among those growing loud with concerns over his candidacy. Paul’s father, Ron, said this past week that two American al Qaeda operatives killed “were literally assassinated” by the US government.


Two new national polls have vaulted Sen. Marco Rubio to the top tier of presidential contenders – at least for now. It’s an announcement bump that has the Florida senator in frontrunner status, at least nominally, and perhaps temporarily. It’s well-timed for Rubio, who needs to establish himself among donors and activists in a crowded field that also includes a mentor a follow Floridian, Jeb Bush. Rubio is showing early strength among an ideological cross-section of Republicans, including tea partiers, evangelicals, conservatives, and moderates. But there are too many other candidates to expect anyone will be capable of pulling away from the pack for a long while. And with top-tier status comes higher-level scrutiny, as Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have already begun to find out.


The big argument around marriage equality is finally being heard by the Supreme Court. Lawyers will clash on Tuesday in front of the high court over whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. The justices stopped just short of establishing full marriage equality two years ago, when they ruled that married gay couples were entitled to federal benefits, and allowed same-sex marriages to move forward in California.

This time the court could go further, reflecting fast-moving public opinion and state law. Like the president, the country has flipped on gay marriage, with a record 61 percent of Americans saying they support gay marriage in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll. The politics have moved just as quickly, as the dust-up over Indiana’s religious freedom law amply demonstrated last month. Several Republican presidential contenders are pressing for traditional definitions of marriage, viewpoints set to get an airing at an Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition gathering over the weekend.