A signal that Rubio is close to launching

Willie Grace | 3/23/2015, 2:02 p.m.
At issue is Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who remains a single-digit blip in Republican polls. So weak have his ...
Marco Rubio

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A huge Obama foreign policy decision, a big immigration question and interesting steps related to Hillary Clinton, John Boehner and Marco Rubio filled an informative Sunday loop around the 'Inside Politics' table.

  1. A signature hire sends a signal from Team Rubio

There's nothing like a signature hire to quiet those who think you might blink and skip the fight.

At issue is Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who remains a single-digit blip in Republican polls. So weak have his early poll showings been that many GOPers to this day say they would not be shocked if he decided not to move from exploratory candidate to official candidate.

But a new hire sends a signal. Veteran South Carolina GOP strategist J. Warren Tompkins is signing on to run a pro-Rubio super PAC. That same PAC is in line for seed money from Florida billionaire Norman Braman.

Tompkins is a protege of the late GOP Gov. Carroll Campbell and legendary South Carolina strategist Lee Atwater.

His hiring is seen as a signal in GOP circles that Rubio is close to launching.

  1. Hillary Clinton has fond Gingrich memories, and vice versa. But, of course, there is a but ...

For those of us who lived through the Clinton White House years, and especially the Monica Lewinsky scandal, it was interesting to say the least listening to Hillary Clinton a few days ago wax nostalgic about her relationship with Newt Gingrich.

And the former House speaker shared similar fond memories in a conversation with Jackie Kucinich of The Daily Beast.

But don't break into "Kumbaya" or order the marshmallows.

"He said, if she becomes president, she'll be a hard worker; she'll be pretty practical," said Kucinich.

"However, he doesn't think she's going to get there because of what's happening with the Clinton Global Foundation and because of the foreign money. He's testifying to the Homeland Security Committee next week and he says he's going to bring up the problem of foreign money in American politics. "

  1. Speaker Boehner looks to get the House on track -- and has an odd ally

It's been a rough start for the Republican Congress and House Speaker John Boehner.

But Boehner sees a chance to get two big-ticket items on their way to passage, and through those debates to get the House back on a more productive track.

Robert Costa of The Washington Post shared his reporting on the speaker's calculations -- including one health care bill where he struck up an alliance with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

"There's two pieces of legislation to really keep an eye on that he wants to muscle through," said Costa.

"One is the Republican budget: He wants to just get it through the House, get a compromise with the Senate. And the next is the Doc Fix bill, which is how Medicare reimbursements are done for doctors. Boehner wants to solve that long-term and it looks like he is going to have the votes to get it done."