Welcome back to Hotline Sort. Republicans distance themselves from Akin's remarks, congressmen went skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee, Scott Brown is up with a new television ad, and Schumer plays cupid.
10) Looking for love on the Hill? Try to get a job in Sen. Chuck Schumer's office. It seems the New York Democrat is quite the office matchmaker.
9) The New York Times reports that Republicans are making a concerted effort to improve Mitt Romney's personal image.
The paper reports that the convention will highlight Romney's devotion to his faith, which he has been reticent to discuss so far, and will highlight his private equity experience as a major credential, given the country's economic struggles.
8) Politico's Glenn Thrush has a new e-book out on the Obama campaign, "Obama's Last Stand," detailing conflicts on the campaign. One tidbit:
Many of Obama's advisers have quietly begun questioning whether they should have picked Wasserman Schultz, an outspoken Florida congresswoman, as his DNC chairwoman. She has clashed with Chicago over her choice of staff and air-time on national TV shows -- and they think she comes across as too partisan over the airwaves.
Obama's brain trust secretly commissioned pollster David Binder to conduct an internal focus study of the popularity of top Obama campaign surrogates. Number one was former press secretary Robert Gibbs, followed by Cutter. Traveling press secretary Jen Psaki, who was added to a second study, was third. Axelrod, Plouffe and current White House press secretary Jay Carney were bunched in the middle. Wasserman Schultz ranked at the bottom.
7) Rep. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y, is neck-and-neck with Republican challenger Chris Collins, according to a Siena College Research Institute poll released Sunday.
6) GOP Florida Senate nominee Connie Mack turned down an invitation to participate in a Tampa Bay Times debate with Sen. Bill Nelson -- the first time in 18 years of hosting debates that a candidate has declined, "questioning our ability to be fair," the Times reports.
Mack has clashed with the Times's Adam Smith.
5) Sen. Scott Brown
, R-Mass., is launching a new television ad
today. Brown talks about his tough upbringing as he drives his famous truck.
Meanwhile, the Boston Globe profiles
Elizabeth Warren's career.
4) CODEL skinny dipping, per Politico
The FBI probed a late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee that involved drinking, numerous GOP freshmen lawmakers, top leadership staff -- and one nude member of Congress, according to more than a dozen sources, including eyewitnesses.
During a fact-finding congressional trip to the Holy Land last summer, Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) took off his clothes and jumped into the sea, joining a number of members, their families and GOP staff during a night out in Israel, the sources told POLITICO. Other participants, including the daughter of another congressman, swam fully clothed, while some lawmakers partially disrobed. More than 20 people took part in the late-night dip in the sea, according to sources who were participants in the trip.
Other freshmen swimmers involved: Reps. Steve Southerland
, R-Fla., Tom Reed
, R-N.Y., Ben Quayle
, R-Ariz., Jeff Denham
, R-Calif., and Michael Grimm
3) Romney brought in
$7 million during a weekend east coast fundraising swing.
2) More speakers announced
for the Democratic National Convention:
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley
, former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine
, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper
, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry
, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick
, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland
and California Attorney General Kamala Harris
Meanwhile, CNN reports
that Ann Romney
is expected to be named the main headliner on the first night of the GOP Convention.
1) Missouri GOP Senate nominee Todd Akin
's comments about rape -- that victims of "legitimate" rape can't get pregnant -- set off a firestorm
The Romney campaign has distanced Romney and Ryan from the comments. GOP Senate candidates Denny Rehberg
(Montana) and Jeff Flake
(Arizona) have as well -- and expect more Republican Senate candidates to follow suit.
And Akin's primary opponent Sarah Steelman tweeted "Todd Akin's remarks about "legitimate rape" were inexcusable, insulting and embarrassing to the GOP."
Check out Hotline
's Josh Kraushaar
's take on how this effects the race here