-- There is a big difference between recruiting potentially strong candidates and just talking about it. In Maine and Texas -- two states identified by Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chair Patty Murray
earlier this year as part of her "six in '12" program to go on offense -- Democrats have come up empty so far, as Sen. Olympia Snowe
, R-Maine, is on cruise control and Ricardo Sanchez
has proven to be a non-factor in Texas.
But this week, they had some good recruiting luck elsewhere, in Arizona and North Dakota, respectively landing Richard Carmona
and Heidi Heitkamp
. Neither will be favored to win the general election, but both give their party a fighting chance that didn't exist before they jumped in.
-- Rep. Denny Rehberg
, R-Mont., made the smart move by dropping his lawsuit
against the city of Billings, but don't expect the issue to disappear from his race against Democratic Sen. Jon Tester
. In a campaign that is shaping up to be as nasty as it is competitive, Democrats will relish reminding voters that the wealthy congressman blamed a local fire department for the wildfire damage to his property.
-- Rep. Randy Hultgren
, R-Ill., had a good week, and he didn't even have to speak. Tea party freshman Rep. Joe Walsh
, R-Ill., did enough speaking -- or we should say yelling -- for the two of them. While at an informal coffee event, the north suburban Chicago congressman went off
on a constituent over banks.
-- In Washington State, Costco spent $22 million winning the right to sell liquor in their stores. A top Costco official said the win doesn't mean they'll be running similar initiatives in other states, but don't count on the company being able to resist the temptation: Oregon is right next door, and the state's beer and wine wholesalers are already nervous about being the next target.