President Obama will travel to Kenya in July….

The GOPer’s are gonna go batshit crazy on this….

 

The White House announced on Monday that Obama would attend the 2015 global entrepreneurship summit that will take place in July in Kenya. It will be his first trip to Kenya as president. An official announcement with the anodyne title “Reinforcing the US-Africa partnership” trotted out various government-related excuses for why Obama, whose father was Kenyan, would make the trip.

But a former Republican governor saw an alternate explanation: Obama is “just inciting some chatter” on the question of where he was born.

“I think his trip back to Kenya is going to create a lot of chatter and commentary among some of the hard right who still don’t see him as having been born in the US,” John Sununu, who has a record of knocking Obama as un-American, told Fox News on Monday….

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image…cnn.com

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Editorial: Gov. Pence, fix ‘religious freedom’ law now…Indystar

http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/d8b1b580be8022543742da23fad02c7156e5fd7f/c=0-128-3287-4511&r=537&c=0-0-534-712/local/-/media/2015/03/30/Indianapolis/Indianapolis/635633567670670959-G9DACF488.1.jpg

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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest 3/31/15…Tammy Duckworth will take on Mark Kirk

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by Jeff Singer

Tammy Duckworth, an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, jumps with the U.S. Army?s Golden Knights parachute team, February 2010. Duckworth is an Iraq War veteran who received a Purple Heart.  REUTERS/Handout/Courtesy of Tammy D

attribution: REUTERS
Democratic Senate candiate Tammy Duckworth

Leading Off: IL-Sen: As expected, Rep. Tammy Duckworth formally kicked off her campaign against GOP Sen. Mark Kirk on Monday, making her the first Democrat to enter the race. (She’s posted a welcome video here.) Duckworth comes in to the contest with a reputation as a strong fundraiser who’s well-connected to the political establishment, and she also has a singular biography as an Iraq War veteran who lost both legs in service to her country. However, she represents just a small slice of the Chicagoland area and still has to introduce herself to most of the state.

She might also still face a contested primary, though at least one potential rival is sounding less interested. Following Duckworth’s announcement, Rep. Cheri Bustos told Roll Call she was “unlikely” to run (that’s the paper’s phrasing) and offered kind words for her House colleague, though she was careful to say she was not making a formal endorsement. On the other hand, an aide to Rep. Robin Kelly says she’s still “considering” and will decide “soon.” But we still haven’t heard from Rep. Bill Foster as to whether his calculus has now changed.

Senate:

FL-Sen: On Monday, GOP Sen. Marco Rubio said that he will announce on April 13 whether he will run for president or for a second term in the U.S. Senate, with most signs pointing to option A. Assuming Rubio departs, it’ll likely set off a fiercely contested Republican primary to succeed him, as several big names are considering the race. Democrats, meanwhile, have largely united around just one candidate so far, Rep. Patrick Murphy, who picked up his third endorsement from a fellow member of Florida’s delegation Monday, Rep. Lois Frankel. Interestingly, Murphy and Frankel spent most of 2011 competing against each other for the right to take on then-Republican Rep. Allan West, but redistricting led them to successfully run for two different seats.

NC-Sen, Gov: Most Democrats looking for a challenge to two-term Republican Sen. Richard Burr have ex-Sen. Kay Hagan at the top of their wish list, but we haven’t gotten a clear sign from Hagan that she’s doing moving toward the race. The News & Observer checks in with some of the second-tier options for the Dems, but none of them sound terribly interested (at least for now). Former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker says he’s considering a run for statewide office, but not against Burr. Back in 2013, Meeker talked about taking on Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in next year’s contest, but he’s been very quiet about his plans since then, and he may not be willing to oppose Attorney General Roy Cooper for the Democratic nod.

State Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue has “no immediate plans,” and is more focused on trying to win back control of the state Senate, while state Sen. Jeff Jackson says hasn’t “even considered it.” Ex-Rep. Brad Miller, currently working for a New York-based law firm, says he has “no desperate need to return to electoral politics.” Finally, Treasurer Janet Cowell continues to say nothing about her plans, though Roll Call recently told us that she’s met with the DSCC.

Gubernatorial:

KY-Gov: When you make an initial splash as a candidate who’s against something, it’s hard to reimagine yourself as a candidate who’s for something when that thing that you’re against is no longer relevant. That’s the takeaway from a new piece by National Journal‘s Karyn Bruggeman about tea-partying businessman Matt Bevin, who got a lot of attention for his GOP primary challenge to Mitch McConnell in 2014’s Senate race, but hasn’t been able to parlay the name recognition from that run into much traction in the GOP gubernatorial primary.

National groups that backed him last year aren’t interested this time (largely because they ordinarily don’t play in state races), and the main thing he seems to be accomplishing is splitting the tea party lane with Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, which is letting former Louisville Councilor Hal Heiner — the sole occupant of the establishment lane — pull ahead. Like Heiner, Bevin is capable of self-funding, and says he’ll put “some” of his money into this run, but he’s mum on how much….

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Hillary Clinton hits some bumps in few places…Poll….

According to a Quinnipiac University survey released on today?

Hillary Clinton has taken a hit over the last months email issue….

While none of any other polls have shown as much slippage….The Hill’s piece has tried to tie the slippage TO the emails….

In each state Hillary Clinton still remains at or slightly below 50%….

The poll’s author’s admit the email issue is NOT a deal breaker for Clinton….

She still leads ALL of the Republicans everywhere except in Florida , where the poll shows Jeb Biush  slides ahead by 3% points ….

We all know that Hillary will slip in the polling ….

But all of the other recent polling has Hillary ahead of ALl of the Republicans everywhere…

Hillary Clinton’s favorability ratings have plunged in two key battleground states that will be critical to determining the 2016 presidential election, a new poll finds.

In addition, about half the voters in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania say they don’t trust the former Secretary of State.

According to a Quinnipiac University survey released on Tuesday, 50 percent of voters in Florida say Clinton is not honest or trustworthy, compared to only 41 percent who say that she is. Clinton’s favorability rating in the Sunshine State has shrunk from 53 percent positive and 39 percent negative last month, to 49 percent positive and 46 percent negative this month.

In Pennsylvania, 49 percent of voters say they don’t trust Clinton, against only 44 percent who say that they do. Clinton’s favorability rating in the Keystone State plummeted from a 55-38 split in February, to 48 percent positive and 47 percent negative in March.

Clinton’s image has held the best in Ohio, where a slim plurality, 47 percent, say they find Clinton to be honest and trustworthy, against 46 percent who say they don’t. Her favorability remains nearly unchanged here, at 51 percent positive and 43 percent negative….

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Political Roundup for March 31, 2015…Red Racing Horses

by: shamlet

Senate:

IL-Sen: With Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D) now in the race to take on Sen. Mark Kirk (R), we have three different reactions from the other three Democratic Illinois House members who had been considering the contest. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D) seems all but ready to get behind Duckworth, shifting from her prior consideration of a bid to now say such a run is “unlikely”. At the other end of the spectrum, Rep. Robin Kelly (D) reiterated that she is still considering the race. And the final possible contender, Rep. Bill Foster (D), is taking yet another route by keeping his mouth shut entirely on the matter.

NV-Sen: Though outgoing Sen. Harry Reid (D) has made it clear in no uncertain terms that he wants ex-AG Catherine Cortez-Masto (D) to succeed him, Rep. Dina Titus (D) is considering a bid. Titus has a history of battling with Reid, beating back his prefered candidate in both 2006’s Gov and 2012’s NV-1 nomination contests, and she would likely start out as a formidable primary candidate if she ran.

Governor:

KY-Gov: Here’s a good recap on 2014 Senate candidate Matt Bevin’s (R) attempts to remake himself into a credible gubernatorial candidate, which so far are falling quite flat. Whereas Bevin got steam last year by being the only serious opponent to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R), he also incurred the wrath of McConnell’s campaign apparatus. Thus, Bevin now has high name recognition, but also a highly unfavorable image, which has kept him from getting much traction against the other major candidates in the race, ex-Louisville councilman Hal Heiner (R) and Ag Commissioner James Comer (R). Ex-State Supreme Court Justice Will Scott (R) is also running but trails the field. The primary winner will face AG Jack Conway (D) in the general.

LA-Gov: The Louisiana Democratic Party has voted to back State Rep. John Bel Edwards (D) as their official endorsed candidate. The move is important as it reduces to near-zero the likelihood that a bigger-name Democrat (read: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D)) would make a late entry into the race. The biggest beneficiary of the move, though, might be overall front-runner Sen. David Vitter (R). That’s because if Edwards is the only Democrat, he is likely to make the runoff. And Vitter, who is likely to come in first place overall, would much rather face the liberal Edwards one-on-one in the conservative state than either LG Jay Dardenne (R) or Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle (R), who each could build a successful anti-Vitter coalition of Chamber-of-Commerce Republicans and Democrats far better than Edwards.

MO-Gov: Ex-State House Speaker Catherine Hanaway (R) has resumed her gubernatorial campaign, which she suspended after the suicide of her main primary rival, Auditor Tom Schweich. Instead of Schweich, Hanaway is now facing veteran and nonprofit founder Eric Greitens (R) in the primary, and the field looks likely to grow. In a new twist to the increasingly weird story, Schweich’s spokesman, Spence Jackson, has also killed himself as well….

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Obama tops George W Bush’s numbers up to now…

For those who are comparing President Obama to George W Bush?

Forget it…..

Even with the Affordable Healthcare rollout?

Barack H. Obama has better approval rating’s up to now than Bush did during his second term…

For all of 2007, Bush never saw his approval rating rise above 38 percent, and, for the first three months of that year, received an average Gallup approval rating of 34.75 percent. In January of that year, Bush notched approval ratings of 37, 34, and 36 percent in three separate surveys. In February, he registered approval ratings of 32 and 37 percent, while in March he saw ratings of 33, 35, 34 percent. For the first three months of 2007,

Obama, by comparison, Obama has averaged an approval rating of 46.33 in the first three months of 2015. He received Gallup approval ratings in January of 2015 of 46, 46, 49, and 47 percent. In February, Obama registered the approval of 46, 47, 46, and 45 percent of the voters, and in March he received respective approval ratings of 46, 47, 45, and 46 percent.

While Obama, who averaged an approval rating of 42.6 percent in 2014, has seen his numbers rise since the summer of late, Bush, by and large, watched his own continue to fall throughout much of the last two years of his time in office….

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Rahm Emanuel opens a HUGE lead in Chicago runoff….Poll

This was NEVER a problem for Emanuel…..

Once people got their anger out of their system against their Mayor, they came to realize that Rahm was the only choice here….

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s lead over his rival in next week’s mayoral runoff, Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, has swelled to a commanding 28-point advantage, according to a new Chicago Tribune poll released this morning.

Emanuel leads Garcia, 58 percent to 30 percent, according to the poll, which was conducted March 25-29 by APC Research. Nine percent of voters were undecided.

The poll represents a shift toward Emanuel over the past two weeks. In the previous Tribune/APC Research poll, conducted March 6-11, Emanuel led, 51 percent to 37 percent.
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The incumbent is propelled by massive margins among white voters, who back him, 72 percent to 25 percent. Emanuel also leads by a nearly-two-to-one margin among black voters, 53 percent to 28 percent. Garcia outpaces Emanuel among Hispanic voters, 52 percent to 36 percent.

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Republicans see Obama as bigger threat than Putin and Assad, says poll…

…from Talk and Politics….

An imminent threat is very silly of course… and in large part driven my personal dislike probably.. but the damage from Obama’s amateurish and embarrassing foreign policy might harm America a whole lot more in the coming decades than a little despot in the Middle East will.. Putin is a different story though.. he’s out to build an empire, and will target the US the second he feels confident enough..

US President Barack Obama departs his residence to board the Marine One helicopter. An online poll has suggested a third of Republicans see him as an imminent danger to the United States.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/30/republicans-see-obama-as-bigger-threat-than-putin-and-assad-says-poll

A third of Republicans believe President Barack Obama poses an imminent threat to the United States, outranking concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

A Reuters/Ipsos online poll this month asked 2,809 Americans to rate how much of a threat a list of countries, organisations and individuals posed to the United States on a scale of 1 to 5, with one being no threat and 5 being an imminent threat.

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There are over 500,000 federal, state, and local elected officials in America…

Betcha had NO IDEA there was THAT  many….

And just think….

They are elected by you me….

With Tax Day only two weeks away (haha, happy Monday morning!), it seems like an appropriate time to entertain a common non-Tax-Day-specific gripe: government is expensive and big and pays for things I don’t want. Very good; complaining about taxes and the size of government is timeless, if recently very much in vogue.

But how big is government, you might wonder? In a post at the liberal blog Daily Kos over the weekend, David Nir cited a 2012 book by Jennifer Lawless, “Becoming A Candidate,” to answer the question. We’re not going to spoil it for you. Instead, we’ll walk through it…

….over 500,000 federal, state, and local elected officials, meaning that 0.2 percent of the country holds elected office of some kind. Nir at Daily Kos points out that this doesn’t include other elected positions, like party leadership roles. But you get the point.

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Indiana Republican Legislator’s to ‘clarify’ their Relgious Freedom Law…Live-Blog Update

Stung by the outcry against the vagueness of the law that people believe could be a free pass for discrimination against gays….Republican legislators in Indiana have announced that despite their Governor pledge to NOT change anything in the Law….They WILl go ahead and lay down some specifics to address the perception that the law makes it ok to deny Gay people in that the state their civil right…

The Out cry against the language in the law has gotten so much attention that Other states have backed away from following Indiana’s lead in passing Religious Freedom Laws altogether…

Republican lawmakers in Indiana promised Monday to amend a religious liberties bill that critics have labeled as anti-gay, bowing to protests that have rapidly spread to several other states considering similar measures.

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma (R) said the legislature would act as soon as this week to “clarify” the state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which grants individuals and businesses legal grounds to defend themselves against claims of discrimination. The fix, Bosma said, would make clear that the law does not allow people to discriminate against gays, as critics contend.

Opponents of the measure say the fix suggested by Bosma and other Republicans is vague and probably insufficient. Meanwhile, criticism of the act, signed into law last week by Gov. Mike Pence (R), continued to mount….

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Marco Rubio Update…Announcement April 13th to Run…

And on April 13 there could be two offical GOPer’s running for President as the secret is out that Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio will announce he’s running for President…..or the Senate….

“I’ll be very excited about April 13 and talking more about that with my friends and supporters and I just encourage everyone to go to MarcoRubio.com to get more details in the days to come.”

Rubio laughed and deflected the point-blank questions from the group of panelists sitting alongside him as they asked whether he’d announce a presidential bid.

There’s been widespread speculation that Rubio would announce at the Miami event, but Rubio hadn’t confirmed it. He added that his team is still working out a location, despite media reports that he’s booked the city’s Freedom Tower on that date.

Fellow GOP Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is expected to announce his presidential bid a week earlier on April 7, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) launched his presidential campaign last week.

Many pundits have questioned whether the GOP White House field has room for two Floridians, Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush. Rubio wouldn’t address that head on, but used the question to underscore the importance of the upcoming election….

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Sen Warren will vote for Schumer to lead Senate Democrats…

The Progressive/Lefty rookie Senator is supporting New York Senator Chuck Schumer for the leadership role in the Senate next year….

We should know that with the touch evidently going to Schumer , he will now be essentially the co-US senate Majority leader for the next 18 months….

Since Reid announced his decision Friday not to seek reelection, Schumer has received endorsements from his top colleagues in the Senate, including potential challengers Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.). Reid himself quickly pushed Schumer as his replacement, hours after announcing his retirement.

Some liberal groups were quick to push Warren to challenge for the post, but the freshman senator and big bank critic quickly shot down the notion.

Some outside liberal groups had suggested Schumer was too close to the financial industry that plays a major role in his home state, but Warren dismissed the idea when asked about it Monday.

“Look, I worry about everyone being too close to Wall Street,” she said. “But there are people who have said, ‘I’m going to fight for middle class families. I’m going to get out there and make this happen.’ ”

Warren ran down a number of areas where she sees common ground with Schumer. In addition to the consumer bureau, she mentioned providing student loan relief and protecting Social Security…

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Jon Stewart will be succeded by South Africa Trevor Noah…

…from the NY Times….

In December, Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old comedian, made his debut as an on-air contributor on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” offering his outsider’s perspective, as a biracial South African, on the United States.

“I never thought I’d be more afraid of police in America than in South Africa,” he said with a smile. “It kind of makes me a little nostalgic for the old days, back home.”

Now, after only three appearances on that Comedy Central show, Mr. Noah has gotten a huge and unexpected promotion. On Monday, Comedy Central announced that Mr. Noah would be the new host of “The Daily Show,” succeeding Mr. Stewart after he steps down later this year.

The network’s selection of Mr. Noah comes less than two months after Mr. Stewart, 52, revealed on Feb. 10 that he was leaving “The Daily Show” after a highly successful 16-year run that transformed the show into authoritative, satirical comedy on current events. (An exact timetable for Mr. Stewart’s departure has not been decided, Comedy Central said.)..

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image….theinterrobang.com

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Russia has a Muslim Jihadi problem just like the West…

…from BloombergBusiness…

The number of Russian nationals fighting alongside Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq has roughly doubled over the past year, to a range of 1,500 to 1,700, according to recent estimates by the head of Russia’s FSB security agency and by the Kremlin’s envoy to Chechnya. Russian and Western analysts have said that about 1,000 Russian-speaking jihadis took part in an Islamic State assault last year on Iraq’s Anbar province that was led by a fighter known as Omar the Chechen.

That means Russia is now supplying far more jihadis than any country outside the Middle East and North Africa. (France, the biggest European source of fighters, has said that about 900 of its citizens received training in Syria, with about 300 remaining there in 2014.)

Jihadi groups have stepped up recruiting in the historically Muslim North Caucasus region of Russia that includes Chechnya and Dagestan. The region is home to a longstanding bloody insurgency movement whose current leadership has sworn allegiance to the Islamic State and is urging local supporters to go to Syria. “A new team is coming,” the movement’s leader, Ali Abu Muhammad al Dagestani, promised in a message on its website addressed last week to “Mujahid brothers” from the region who have already left….

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Ted Cruz update…A path to legal status for undocumented workers?

It MUST be election time….

Ted Cruz is running for the Presidency and he is doing a time honored political thing….

He’s moving to the Middle…

In the second policy shift in the last week ….

It appears that he’s signalling a softening of his old postion on immigration….

Changing views is something we ALL do…

But Conservative firebrand Cruz IS gonna get grief for moving out from behind the rightwingnut ideology camps views…

Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz’s office on Friday indicated the Texas senator remains open to a path to legal status for undocumented workers, putting him at odds with conservatives who deride such a position as unacceptable “amnesty.”

Cruz opposed the Senate bipartisan immigration bill and its proposed path to citizenship that passed in 2013, but he also indicated to The Texas Tribune that year that he supported giving some undocumented immigrants permission to stay in the country with more limited legal status. He noted that an amendment he had filed to strip the Senate legislation of its citizenship component deliberately “did not change the underlying work permit from the [bill]” that would allow undocumented immigrants to remain in the country without fear of deportation.

Cruz has almost never discussed his support for legalization since then, instead focusing his public statements on passing border security legislation and making changes to the legal immigration system first. In early 2014, he decried a short-lived proposal by House GOP leaders that granted legal status – but not necessarily citizenship – to certain immigrants as “amnesty for those here illegally.”

More, recently Cruz has helped lead the charge in Congress against what he calls Obama’s “illegal executive amnesty” which would grant temporary work permits to undocumented immigrants. He’s even threatening a government shutdown to block the measure…..

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image….usatoday.com

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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest 3/30/15… Nevada institution Harry Reid announces surprise retirement

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by Jeff Singer

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks to the media about an immigration reform on Capitol Hill in Washington June 18, 2013.  REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

attribution: REUTERS
Retiring Nevada Democratic Sen. Harry Reid

Leading Off:

NV-Sen: Despite spending the last few months saying he would run for re-election, Democratic Sen. Harry Reid announced on Friday that he would not be on the ballot in 2016. Nevada was already emerging as a major battleground for control of the Senate, and this move won’t change that.

It’s unclear if Reid’s departure will help or hurt his party’s chances at holding this seat. On the one hand, Reid has been quite unpopular for years, and the GOP was looking forward to portraying him as a creature of Washington who had lost touch with his home state. However, even Reid’s enemies conceded that he was a very tough campaigner and that his seniority was an asset to the state. For better or for worse, the new Democratic nominee will have a very different profile than Reid.

Democrats have done well in the Silver State during the last two presidential elections, but neither party can take anything for granted in what is still a swing state. Reid quickly made it clear that he wants former state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto to succeed him. Masto has yet to say anything about her plans, but Reid says that she “wants to run.”

Team Blue has a few potential contenders, though it’s unlikely many of them would be willing to go toe-to-toe against a Reid-backed candidate like Masto. Rep. Dina Titus quickly announced that she would give “serious thought” toward running. Titus won a tough House race in 2008 and almost hung on during the 2010 GOP wave, so she can definitely make this competitive. Titus defied Reid in 2012 when she ran for the House again and forced the senator’s favored candidate to drop out of the primary. However, this time she’d be risking a safe seat to enter a tough primary and general election, something she may not be keen to do….

Senate:

CA-Sen: Former Republican Rep. David Dreier has occasionally been mentioned as a potential Senate candidate, and his team has claimed that unnamed groups are trying to draft him. It seems like it was all for naught though. On Thursday, Dreier said that he doesn’t plan to run, despite seeing some polls that showed him competitive. That’s not a Shermanesque no, but it’s not like national Republicans are going to make a major effort to convince Dreier to get in.

IL-Sen: The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth will announce on Monday that she will challenge Republican Sen. Mark Kirk. Duckworth is a favorite of national Democrats, and she’s been reportedly raising money in preparation for a statewide run against Kirk. Several other Democrats, including three of her House colleagues, are looking at this seat, and we’ll see if Duckworth’s decision will deter any of them.

IN-Sen: For the first time, Republican Rep. Todd Rokita has confirmed that he’s “weighing” a bid to succeed retiring Sen. Dan Coats. Rokita is a former secretary of state who first won his seat in 2010, and he’d reportedly been considering a run. He joins a long list of Republicans who are looking at the race, but so far, the only announced candidate is Eric Holcomb, Coats’ chief of staff.

MD-Sen: A new pair of articles on the two Democrats vying to succeed retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski showcase some of the difficulties both are facing in their bids for a promotion—difficulties they’ve generally created for themselves. In the National Journal, Alex Brown examines Rep. Donna Edwards’ icy relationship with the Congressional Black Caucus, whose membership has not been eager to line up behind her. It’s not entirely clear why Edwards is on bad terms with the CBC (Brown suggests “poor relationship-building or a refusal to ‘wait her turn’ ” have hurt her), but Rep. Emanuel Cleaver spoke on the record to express his support for another black Maryland Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings, and added that he thinks a majority of the caucus would back him. (Cummings is still weighing a run.)

Meanwhile, Rep. Chris Van Hollen just whiffed on an easy opportunity to shore up his credentials with liberals….

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