Welcome back to Hotline Sort. President Obama has more kind words for Tim Kaine, while his own approval ratings hit a low point in one poll. And an Arizona Senate showdown is set to kick off this weekend. Here's today's rundown:
10) Why ask Rye? Rye Town Supervisor Joe Carvin is leading a charge to dissolve the Town of Rye, which he's headed for three years.
9) He's only been in office for a couple months, but California lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom (D) is already making noise about running for governor - in 2014.
8) Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) gave his first national television interview as a senator to ABC News last night. Now he's out with a Wall Street Journal op-ed that should ingratiate him with the Tea Party crowd, writing he won't vote to raise the debt ceiling limit.
7) Former Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) said she's running again for her old House seat against Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), making her the first former member who lost in 2010 to pursue a comeback.
6) Speaking of comebacks, liberal activist Ann McLane Kuster
(D) will challenge
Rep. Charlie Bass
(R-N.H.) in 2012. Kuster was the 2010 Democratic nominee for New Hampshire's 2nd District seat and loss to Bass by just over 3,500 votes.
5) Rep. Trent Franks
(R-Ariz.) is expected to announce
his entrance into the Senate race this Saturday, and will be facing the establishment favorite, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)
If he's the only serious Republican challenger against Flake, he stands a decent chance of winning. If Flake didn't think his moderate position on immigration would be a serious vulnerability in a primary, he wouldn't have flip-flopped so quickly and glaringly as he did.
Franks has been telegraphing his interest in running against Flake for a while. Last week, when Franks passed on a chance to appear alongside Flake at a border event featuring Sen. John McCain
(R) and other GOP members of the state's congressional delegation.
A plugged-in Arizona GOP source points to Arizona Corporation Commissioner Bob Stump
(R) as a potential candidate to watch for Franks' seat.
4) Democrats are still waiting -- and waiting some more ---
for a challenger to emerge against Sen. Scott Brown
3) In a speech today at Georgetown University, Obama will call for a goal
today for reducing oil imports by one-third over the next decade.
2) At a DNC fundraiser in Harlem Tuesday night, Obama heaped praise on DNC Chairman Tim Kaine
, saying "since he happened to be a really great governor for the Commonwealth of Virginia, I suspect that, should he choose to do so, he would also be an outstanding senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia."
The president's high-profile remarks underscore that Kaine is all but in the race, even though he hasn't yet made a formal announcement. And it shows that the president's political team has no concerns connecting itself closely with a Virginia Democratic Senate nominee - it's a state that White House strategists believe is becoming more Democratic and is very winnable in 2012, And they don't believe that Kaine's close ties with the president will hurt him at all.
Oh, by the way, Obama raised a cool $1.5 million for the Democratic National Committee at the event.
1) Obama has hit his all-time low
in approval rating and reelect score in a Quinnipiac University poll. Obama only has a 42 percent approval rating among registered voters, according to the newly-released survey.
A majority of voters - 50 percent - say he doesn't deserve to be re-elected in 2012.
-- Jessica Taylor contributed to this post. --