6) The NRCC is holding its first "Patriot Day" of this cycle today, where House Republican leadership will raise $1.5 million, for 10 endangered GOP Members including 8 freshmen. The list: Reps. Tom Latham
, R-Iowa, Allen West
, R-Fla., Sean Duffy
, R-Iowa, Lou Barletta
, R-Pa., Mike Fitzpatrick
, R-Pa., Pat Meehan
, R-Pa., Charlie Bass
, R-N.H., Frank Guinta
, R-N.H., Joe Heck
, R-Nev., and Quico Canseco
5) Tensions increased
between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
and Democratic Senate candidate Byron Georgiou
, as Reid said he regretted placing Georgiou on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission two years ago. Reid said he was misled about charging he was misled about Georgiou's credentials. "I think it has something to do with running for the Senate because it dramatizes how he misled me and everyone," Reid said.
Reid, the DSCC, and the Democratic establishment is firmly behind Rep. Shelley Berkley
, D-Nev. Georgiou has refused to drop out, and is defending himself. As an overall candidate, Georgiou may be a long shot, but his personal wealth -- he's already loaned his campaign $500,000 -- could mean he is a thorn in the side of Berkley.
The push against Georgiou continues Wednesday, as labor leaders in Nevada will hold a press conference in which they will level criticism at him for shipping jobs to China.
4) The Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating allegations that Rep. Alcee Hastings
, D-Fla., sexually harassed a member of his staff, the Wall Street Journal reports
3) Tim Pawlenty
is launching the first Iowa television ad
today, s 30-second spot that touts his record as governor of Minnesota. Pawlenty is striving to be one the "top few finishers" in the Ames straw poll, telling Politico
Tuesday: "We need to do and want to do very well there."
2) He's entered the presidential race, but don't expect to see Jon Huntsman
wade into Utah's likely GOP Senate primary.
1) Leon Panetta
was confirmed unanimously
by the Senate on Tuesday as the new secretary of defense.
The confirmation comes as President Obama
will address the nation at 8 p.m. tonight about the drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. A senior Pentagon official said in an interview
with National Journal
Tuesday that he expects Obama to endorse a "phased withdrawal" that would bring one combat brigade, or about 5,000 troops, home over the summer and a second to begin leaving by the end of the year. He said that Obama will also commit to bringing back the remaining 20,000 "surge" troops by the end of 2012, although the military expects the president to be deliberately vague about the timing of the final stages of the troop drawdown, as he was in Iraq.