ICYMI: Politico Names CPAC as a "Top 14 Date to Watch in 2014"

Published Date: 
Wed, 2014-01-01

AS D.C. TURNS: 14 DATES TO WATCH IN 2014

By JAMES HOHMANN | 1/1/14 6:30 PM EST

Mark your calendars and buckle up: 2014 is an election year with control of the Senate, House and 36 governorships at stake.

A key enrollment deadline for President Barack Obama’s health law looms, as does a major Supreme Court ruling on its contraception coverage requirements. The battle for the soul of the GOP will intensify, while the economic recovery faces its own challenges. Oh, and ever hear of a thing called Fancy Farm?

Here are POLITICO’s top 14 dates to watch in 2014.

Jan. 28 – State of the Union

The president said in his most recent news conference that “2014 needs to be a year of action.” He will flesh out what that means during his State of the Union speech.

Obama becomes more of a lame duck with each annual update to Congress, and, faced with strong Republican opposition, it’s likely many of the priorities he outlines will go nowhere. Still, the State of the Union is an important platform for any president, and this is a chance for Obama to convey how much of his diminishing political capital he will invest in pursuing immigration reform, making the health care law work and other priorities.

Whatever he says will be the Democratic rallying cry for the months ahead.

March 6-8 — CPAC

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference will bring thousands of activists to the Gaylord convention center just outside of D.C. and offer a window into the mood of the Republican base.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was the big winner of 2013’s much-watched straw poll because the confab came right after his anti-drone filibuster and catapulted him into the ranks of mainstream acceptability.

The movement remains divided between libertarians and conservatives, and the conference will show who is up and who is down in this period that the GOP lacks a standard-bearer.

Gov. Chris Christie did not get invited last year because of his breaks with conservative orthodoxy. Now that he’s been reelected in New Jersey, will he come to make nice with the right? Does Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) get rewarded for his (unsuccessful) push to defund Obamacare? Stay tuned.

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