Carly Fiorina joins the fray

The Inside Politcs forecast
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Washington (CNN)A mix of 2016 maneuverings filled our final Sunday turn around the "Inside Politics" table, including the rise of a next-generation Bush and a move that leaves the head of the Democratic National Committee perhaps a bit lonely.

1. Carly Joins the Fray -- and The Early Reviews Are Far Better than Many Expected
Carly Fiorina officially jumps into the GOP 2016 presidential field this week, and while she is still a longer than longshot, she is beginning to get notice for her serious approach to policy and a decent list of early state backers.
Nia-Malika Henderson of CNN detailed how the campaign announcement comes hand in glove with a new book designed to fill in her campaign biography.
    "She has really framed herself as being the anti-Hillary Clinton. She sort of makes fun of Hillary Clinton for playing the gender card, but also she's very much playing the gender card herself," Henderson said. "Many of her speeches, the best lines are about Hillary Clinton."
    The former Hewlett-Packard CEO, as Henderson noted, doesn't have a successful track record as a candidate; she lost a California Senate race in 2010.
    But her attacks on Clinton have made an impression with the GOP base, and an ally I spoke with this week says the candidate understands the odds, but begins with the strategy of doing well enough in a crowded field to make it into the final four.
    2. Jim Webb Ponders His Decision, and Knows Can't Wait Too Long
    Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb has been exploring a Democratic presidential run for some time, and routinely says he has no timetable but trusts his gut and will know when he knows about a final decision.
    But in a conversation Friday, Webb acknowledged recent developments had added a bit of pressure, and said he expects to make his decision soon -- probably within the next several weeks.
    What changed? Well Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is officially running, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has been more active of late. Plus Lincoln Chafee, the former senator and governor of Rhode Island, says he most likely will join the Democratic field soon.
    Assuming Webb runs, he sees a chance, albeit a longshot chance, of springing another Iowa surprise on Hillary Clinton, the prohibitive Democratic front runner.
    Webb, a decorated Vietnam War hero and onetime Navy secretary in the Reagan administration, says his early feedback in Iowa has been positive and that he believes a low-budget campaign would appeal to activists who cringe when talking about the estimated $2.5 billion Clinton and her allies talk of raising.
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    Several Iowa Democrats contacted after our Friday chat spoke highly of Webb and said there was a strong appetite for a spirited Democratic race. But they were not convinced Webb is prepared to make the time and campaigning commitment they believe is necessary to mount a credible challenge.
    3. Jebby Hits The Trail for Dad -- and Bush Torch is Again In Play
    Jeb Bush's son George P. Bush is the Texas land commissioner -- so he can't be too active in the 2016 campaign.
    But Jeb Bush Jr. is rising in visibility, Ed O'Keefe of The Washington Post shared in a report that noted a focus on fund-raising among younger donors who might write smaller checks.
    O'Keefe said the younger Bush represented his father at the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas a weekend ago, and then attended a major donor conference in Miami and was on hand during a campaign event in Puerto Rico.
    "Jeb Bush Jr. will continue the family tradition of working alongside one generation so that the next generation, perhaps, can get ready," O'Keefe said.
    4. Jeb Loved Being a Governor, And Takes Issues with Senators
    Sometimes subtle changes in what a candidate is saying offer giant clues as to what their campaign is looking to gain, or worrying about.
    And as he listens to Jeb Bush these days, there are more and more references -- none of them positive -- to the United States Senate.
    Three Republican senators are seeking the 2016 GOP nomination, but Jonathan Martin of The New York Times reports Bush might have one of them more in mind than the others: fellow Floridian Marco Rubio.
    "He didn't mention Marco Rubio by name, but he really was harsh talking about what senators do and how they can hide behind amendments and such," Martin said.
    "The coming message is this: I am a governor with an executive background and a record to talk about of accomplishment that I have done. ... It's really aimed at Marco Rubio, who is starting to get some buzz now, and the Bush folks realize could be a threat and they have to send a message to the primary electorate over why they should pick executive experience over youth and promise."
    5. DWS Loses a Top DNC Aide -- Is That Good or Bad?
    Debbie Wasserman Schultz is losing a top aide at the Democratic National Committee. But it is good news. Unless it isn't.
    Maggie Haberman of The New York Times shared the news.
    The aide is Jason O'Malley, who is leaving the DNC to take a job with the host committee preparing for the party's 2016 nominating convention in Philadelphia.
    That's a plum assignment, but: "It also means she's losing one of her top political advisers," Haberman said.
    "And at the moment it's a little unclear where things are heading with the DNC in terms of a new national figure in Hillary Clinton about to come in."