Washington is traditionally slow in August, but this week has been dominated by the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., the strife in Iraq, and don't forget the hug summit. Almost all took us by surprise this week. Here's a glimpse at some of the stories your ABC News political team will be covering in the week ahead:
1. THE FROZEN PRIMARY
One of the most closely watched and contentious primaries (yes we still have more!) is this Tuesday in Alaska. The GOP Senate primary has three contenders and with little polling this is anybody's game. The establishment favorite is Dan Sullivan. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin appointed Sullivan attorney general in 2009. Before that he worked within President George W. Bush's inner circle as a senior adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Sullivan, a Marine, is also an attorney and the former natural resources commissioner in the state. The front runner has been dogged by his Ohio upbringing and his critics have called him a carpetbagger, although neither of his opponents were born in the 49th state, unlike the Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Begich. He's up against tea party favorite Joe Miller, who was the 2010 GOP nominee when he beat Sen. Lisa Murkowski in a primary shocker. He lost when Murkowski ran a successful write-in campaign. Palin, who backed Miller in 2010, endorsed him again this cycle. The third candidate is Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell. Sullivan has bested his rivals in fundraising, but Alaska is notoriously difficult to poll and front runner may mean nothing when it comes to this Alaska brawl. Wyoming also votes, but it's become much less high profile and contentious since Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, dropped her bid in January to challenge incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi. Her short-lived campaign was a political shocker when she decided to challenge Enzi, but after several missteps and even some family drama she abandoned her bid citing family health issues.
2. ON THE TRAIL
Next week we have 2014 and 2016 news to watch on the campaign trail. On Monday, Sen. John McCain joins New Hampshire Senate candidate and former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown in the Granite State for a foreign policy town hall. McCain is a popular figure in the state, winning the New Hampshire presidential primary twice. Brown is heavily favored in his September 9 GOP primary, but he still has to get through that to face incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in November. On the other side of the aisle and in another early state Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar--a possible 2016 dark horse--stumps with Democratic Iowa Senate candidate Rep. Bruce Braley, who is in a bitter November fight with Republican Joni Ernst. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will hit the road in Kansas and Oklahoma, attending fundraisers as RGA chair. He'll raise money with endangered Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, both up for re-election in November. Another possible 2016 contender Texas Gov. Rick Perry will also head to the first primary state of New Hampshire attending a rally for the New Hampshire GOP and a picnic for the Merrimack County and Concord Republican Committees. Perry will also deliver a high profile address next week on the border crisis. He will speak Thursday at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.
3. BOOK CLUB
We've been hearing about "Hard Choices" for weeks, but Hillary Clinton's book tour seems to be winding down. She has another book signing Saturday in the Hamptons, but she is about to be joined on the book signing circuit. Rep. Paul Ryan is releasing his book "The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea" next week and he's getting the band back together hosting an event with Mitt Romney in Chicago on Thursday at the Union League Club. He will also stop by his home state of Wisconsin. He kicks off his tour Wednesday in Philadelphia and the book will renew speculation that the former Vice-Presidential GOP nominee is more interested in 2016 than he has let on. It's expected to argue that the GOP must stay conservative. He will also make stops in the all-important swing Florida. He's not the only conservative trying to sell books, though. Another possible 2016 contender Dr. Ben Carson will be in Iowa, speaking at the Polk County GOP Summer Sizzle & Straw Poll. He's promoting his book "One Nation" with events in Des Moines, as well as Omaha, Nebraska.
4. THE HAMPTONS ARE READY FOR HILLARY
Hillary Clinton isn't just spending her vacation in the Hamptons, the super pac urging her to run in 2016 "Ready for Hillary" is holding a swanky fundraiser in the Hamptons on Friday. Just a week after Clinton and President Obama grabbed headlines with their "hug summit" at Ann Jordan's 80th birthday party, the group encouraging her to hit the 2016 campaign trail will hold the bash in Wainscott, New York. The special guests are actress Ashley Judd, David Brock, head of the pro-Clinton messaging group "Correct the Record," and Craig Smith, a Ready for Hillary advisor and family friend. The co-hosts are even more interesting, especially embattled former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine who is joining New York philanthropists and real estate investor Dan and Brooke Neidich to throw the party. Corzine was at the center of the $1.6 billion MF Global collapse and has laid low politically since, but Republicans seized on the news of the event immediately trying to link Corzine to Clinton. Expect the headlines to continue into this week as it gets closer not just to the event, but former President Bill Clinton will celebrate his 68th birthday on Tuesday.
5. VACATION FROM THE VACATION
It's something every great vacation needs: a break. Today, the president will return from Martha's Vineyard where he is vacationing with his family and working on his golf game for a series of meetings in Washington, DC. It's a short break as he is returning to the island on Tuesday. The trip back is a bit mysterious and we know he has at least one meeting with Vice President Biden, but the trip is not in reaction to the situation in Ferguson, Mo. or the airstrikes ordered in Iraq last week, as this stop back has been on the schedule for weeks. The White House does not anticipate major news or announcements on the trip home, even completely ruling out anything immigration reform related. The Hill has some reasons that the president may be popping back, including a foreign leader visit, a staff strategy meeting, a huddle about the Obama library, and two of the more unusual possibilities a surprise trip abroad, and a driver's license for his eldest daughter Malia. Will we be seeing the president in line at the DMV? Unlikely would be an understatement, but we'll be watching.
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