“Sen. John Cornyn volunteered for a second consecutive tour of duty as National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman to finish the job of reclaiming a GOP majority in 2012. In a 30-minute interview with Roll Call Thursday, the Texas Republican declined to predict the outcome of elections 23 months away. But he made clear only one result is acceptable heading into a cycle that has a favorable map for the GOP. Cornyn said it would be a ‘disappointment’ if Senate Republicans are still in the minority in 2013.”
BARBOUR: “Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour expressed concern on behalf of the state after India's Ambassador to the United States received a pat-down by airport security in Jackson last week,” WTOK writes.
BLOOMBERG: On NBC’s Meet the Press, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg said, “no way, no how” will he run for president. Bloomberg also said Democrats should “suck it up” and pass the compromise tax bill.
CHRISTIE: On what New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is facing with a fight on medical marijuana, the New York Post has this headline: “Pols take on 'dopey' Christie.”
PALIN: “Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (R) said Sunday that Sarah Palin can't win a nationwide run for the White House, and pointed to the fact that the former Alaska governor left mid-term as an impediment to her support,” The Hill reports. Whitman said, "I don't think she'll win nationwide. You've got to start competing for the center. And so far I haven't seen a lot of outreach on the part of Sarah Palin for that… If she were the Republican candidate she'd have to show me a lot more than I've seen thus far as far as an understanding of the depth and the complexity of the issues that we face. I mean, I don't know her personally. So I can't comment on that.”
More: "I mean, she was a governor. But the fact that she left office before even completing her first term is -- that's just not an attitude that I think is necessarily in the best interest of your constituents -- rather what's in your best interests."
PAUL: In a New York Times profile of Texas Congressman Ron Paul -- who the paper notes is one of the godfathers of the Tea Party movement -- the lawmaker said of the chances he’ll run for president in 2012: “‘I’d say it’s at least 50-50 that I’ll run again,’ he said, adding that he would look at where the economy is. (Aides add that it would depend a lot on what his wife, Carol, says.)”
PAWLENTY: Tim Pawlenty pens a Wall Street Journal op-ed making the case against public-employee unions. “The moral case for unions—protecting working families from exploitation—does not apply to public employment. Government employees today are among the most protected, well-paid employees in the country. Ironically, public-sector unions have become the exploiters, and working families once again need someone to stand up for them. If we're going to stop the government unions' silent coup, conservative reformers around the country must fight this challenge head on. The choice between big government and everyday Americans isn't a hard one.”
SANTORUM: The former Pennsylvania senator said over the weekend he’s “kicking the tires” on a possible 2012 White House bid, per WHYY: "You look at whether there’s support there on the ground for what your vision is. The kind of person you are. The kind of record you have. Your ability to communicate and motivate."
THUNE: Politico sets up a John Thune 2012 candidacy as bad for Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, particularly when it comes to Iowa. Both men are from neighboring states. "I think that the advantage of being next to Iowa means you can start a little bit later," Thune said. More: “Pawlenty did 18 campaign events in Iowa in 2010 -- not just the Iowa State Fair, but fundraisers for numerous state senators, representatives, county Republican parties and conservative political action committees. His Iowa state PAC, which has a full-time staffer, handed out $82,000 and his federal PAC gave $19,500 to Iowa candidates.”