- U.S. and Iranian leaders to meet at UNGA? Time will tell
- Clinton grandbaby watch 2014
- Chamber of Commerce betting on Brown
A "grand" moment for the Clintons, a spotlight on Elizabeth Warren, more muted White House expectations about Iran, and stretch-run GOP calculations filled our weekly trip around the "Inside Politics" table.
1. TWO EVENTS, ONE CONTRAST: CLINTON VS. WARREN
Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren are featured in high-profile events happening at the same time Monday -- both in New York City.
Maeve Reston of The Los Angeles Times reminds us it is a great opportunity for those who like to compare and contrast the agendas and approaches of the Democratic Party's leading women.
"Obviously, a lot of people on the left would like to see Elizabeth Warren run," says Reston.
"But she's been out there on the trail doing a lot more for Democratic candidates so far than Hillary Clinton, who's been really focused on her own agenda," Reston adds.
"So it will be interesting to watch that contrast and whether Hillary, who will be doing more Democratic events, (is) building up a little resentment there by not getting out on the trail."
The Clinton event is part of the Clinton Global Initiative's focus on women and girls. Sen. Warren is headlining a big EMILY'S LIST fund-raiser.
2. IF FOR SOME REASON HILLARY'S EVENT DOESN'T HAPPEN...
Yes, there is work for the Clinton Global Initiative. And events to help Democrats gin up women's turnout in the midterms.
But the most important upcoming event in Clintonland is the arrival of daughter Chelsea Clinton's baby -- the first grandchild for Bill and Hillary Clinton.
And Politico's Maggie Haberman tells us the "baby watch" is both a personal and political turning point for the likely 2016 Democratic front-runner.
"The Clintons have not said when (their) daughter, Chelsea Clinton, is due with (their) first grandchild ... but it is believed to be within the next few weeks," says Haberman.
"Hillary Clinton has said this is the thing that will impact, to some extent, anyway, her thinking about running for president, and so we are now entering that window. She says she's going to see what being a grandmother feels like."
3. A BET ON SCOTT BROWN IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a big player in this year's GOP Super PAC spending, is making a big bet on Scott Brown and the New Hampshire Senate race.
Fresh from a new research effort in the Granite State, the Chamber is convinced that the race, a dead heat entering the final six weeks, can be swayed by aggressively linking incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen to President Barack Obama.
Watch for a tough new ad this week making the case that she has supported the President more than 90% of the time. The latest CNN poll put the President's approval rating in New Hampshire at 35%.
Looking to make a splash, the Chamber is buying time in the more expensive Boston TV market in addition to New Hampshire outlets.
4. A LAME-DUCK FOCUS ON IMMIGRATION?
Congress is gone until after the midterm vote, and GOP leaders are breathing sighs of relief because there were no last-minute surprises that might have hurt the party's election efforts.
Well, Robert Costa of The Washington Post reports, that's no accident. But his conversations with key tea party leaders suggest there might well be some fireworks in the so-called "lame duck" session scheduled for after the election.
"They're already planning to fight the president if he moves forward on executive action on immigration," explains Costa.
"In fact, (Republican Congressman) Steve King (from Iowa) told me that he's prepared to tie government funding in December to blocking any potential executive action. So we could have another showdown on the horizon if that happens."
5. U.S. and IRANIAN LEADERS AT U.N., BUT LOW EXPECTATIONS
It almost happened last year: a meeting between the leaders of the United Sates and Iran. And you could argue there is more urgency this year, given the potential for Iran to shape the fight against ISIS.
But Julie Pace of The Associated Press reports that the Obama White House is going to great lengths to note grievances with Iran as it lowers expectations for any dramatic diplomatic moment as both President Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attend United Nations events this week.
"Nuclear talks with Iran are deadlocked, there's a lot of tension over whether the U.S. and Iran will work together to fight the Islamic State, and most importantly, White House officials are absolutely furious with Iran for detaining a Washington Post reporter and his wife," says Pace.
"And the takeaway for the White House has been that while Rouhani and his colleagues may talk more moderately than some of their predecessors, a lot of the actions haven't changed and there's not a sense that having a meeting would be productive at this point."
Clinton's fall to-do list