- Battles are brewing between the White House and Democrats
- House Speaker John Boehner's secret weapon in the GOP leadership
- Chris Christie's 2016 immigration litmus test
Internal tensions in both political parties dominated this week's final trip around the 'Inside Politics' table.
John King and other top political reporters empty out their notebooks each Sunday to reveal five things that will be in the headlines in the days, weeks and months ahead.
1. Seething over Schumer
Look for more open battles between the Obama White House and congressional Democrats as we move into 2015.
Julie Hirschfeld Davis of The New York Times described White House officials as "privately still pretty angry" at New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer for saying the President was wrong to prioritize health care legislation over other issues in his first term.
And there is also bad blood after the White House pulled the plug on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's effort to negotiate a tax package with congressional Republicans.
"I think we're going to see in the weeks and months ahead a real sort of division starting to emerge, especially as the White House starts to really press on trade, which is an issue that divides Democrats," said Hirschfeld Davis. "I think we're going to see that daylight get even brighter."
2. Boehner's secret weapon
House Speaker John Boehner makes clear he has no interest in shutting the government down, and is no question in stronger political shape than he was in some past battles with the conservative grass roots.
But stronger doesn't mean he doesn't appreciate a little help, and Robert Costa of The Washington Post took us inside efforts by the newest member of the leadership team to help keep the GOP troops in line.
At issue: the work of House Whip Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana.
"He has been able to finagle this thing for the last few days and make sure that conservatives feel like they are part of the process in the House leadership and that they're not looking for a showdown the way they did a year ago when they got a shutdown over health care reform," said Costa.
3. Room for a "nerd" in the GOP 2016 pack?
There are a half dozen GOP governors mulling 2016 presidential runs, including the CEOs of Texas, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, Wisconsin and New Jersey.
But Jonathan Martin of The New York Times says keep an eye on the self-described "nerd" who was just re-elected in the blue state of Michigan.
Martin talked to Snyder when he was in Washington this past week getting an award from Governing Magazine.
"It's this great dance, John, as you know," said Martin. "You talk to these politicians and they are waiting for you to ask the question and finally you do: 'So do you want to run for president?'"
"And of course he has to answer that right now he is fully focused on Michigan and telling the Michigan story and chief in that is that the unemployment rate has dropped in that state that was so hard hit during the recession. But he is someone that at the very least wants to be in the mix for 2016."
4. A 2016 litmus test for Christie?
President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration are not only infuriating key conservatives in Congress -- they are triggering legal challenges from many states, and in a way that could ripple into the 2016 presidential race.
Nia-Malika Henderson of The Washington Post notes that the governors of Indiana, Wisconsin and Louisiana are signatories to the suit, as is the GOP governor of South Carolina. All factor into 2016 talk of potential candidates or maybe vice presidential picks on the GOP side.
But Henderson notes one glaring name not on the list: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
"Christie has said so far that he doesn't want to talk at all about immigration reform -- he won't do that unless he decides to run," said Henderson. "But it is a question of whether or not this lawsuit will be kind of a litmus test going forward in 2016 and whether or not he is going to be pressured to sign on and how he's going to navigate that."
5. Hillary 2016 announcement -- maybe later
There is nothing certain when it comes to Clintonland, but the safer bet appears to be later rather than sooner as to when we will get official word about her 2016 intentions.
The timing debate has been going on for months. Some allies believe an early announcement -- as in by the end of 2014 - is best, to end the doubts and bring early order to the organization.
Others say there is little reason to rush, noting the lack of a formidable opponent and the added scrutiny and requirements that come with being a candidate in the eyes of the law.
The former secretary of state is holding meetings to discuss her team, but is described by friends as not in too much of a hurry to make a final decision and then let it be known. So, for now anyway, the betting is she will wait a bit into 2015.