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5) Florida Republican state Sen. Mike Bennett abandoned his bid against Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., on Monday. The money quote from Bennett, who was not even a month into his campaign: "In all honesty, I quickly realized that the 'fire' I was feeling was heartburn over constant fundraising, travel and the other demands of running for federal office." Castor holds a fairly safe Democratic seat, which gave President Obama 66 percent of the vote, but redistricting could make her seat more competitive. 4) The Ethics Committee on Monday launched a preliminary investigation into Rep. Anthony Weiner's, D-N.Y., actions. More notably, President Obama told NBC News' Ann Curry, "If it was me, I would resign." The fact that Curry's first question to Obama was about Weiner shows just how much of a unwanted distraction the congressman has been to his own party. 3) The U.S. Supreme Court voted to uphold ethics laws that forbid legislators and city council members from voting on matters in which they have a conflict of interest, reversing a Nevada Supreme Court decision that protected such acts under the first amendment. 2) Veterans Affairs Assistant Secretary Tammy Duckworth has submitted her resignation, stoking speculation that she will run for Congress. In 2006 she lost to Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill. Duckworth, a Democratic Iraq war veteran who lost both her legs in combat, is now reportedly considering a bid newly drawn 8th district. She recently closed the door on a run in Hawaii, saying if she runs for office again, it will be in Illinois. 1) The newsiest moments from Monday's Republican presidential debate: Tim Pawlenty refusing to double down on the "Obamneycare" phrase he coined on Sunday; and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., making her bid official. Romney addressed his perceived vulnerability on health care head on, saying: "I can't wait to debate him and say, 'Mr. President, if, in fact, you did look at what we did in Massachusetts, why didn't you give me a call and ask what worked and what didn't?'" More importantly, he did it without receiving pushback from his opponents. Romney, who kept his focus on President Obama, is walking away with generally positive reviews. Bachmann's performance has also been well-received. Pawlenty, not so much. National Journal Editor-In-Chief Ron Fournier noted of Pawlenty's decision to shy away from his "Obamneycare" charge: "Pundits will question Pawlenty's stomach for a fight. Voters may wonder about the character of a candidate who runs down a rival behind his back."

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