New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny reports President Obama is already planning to return to the campaign trail, agreeing to hold at least 14 fundraisers this year, a move a Democratic official characterizes as an “aggressive schedule.”
“Just days after he stunned the political world by announcing he was bowing out of contention for another Senate seat, Scott Brown made a return to the private sector, joining the board of a Massachusetts-based paper processing company and negotiating a possible deal to appear on Fox News,” The Boston Globe writes. “A Fox spokesman confirmed Brown is in talks to appear on the network, which recently announced it is not renewing contracts with big-name political commentators Sarah Palin and Dick Morris. It was unclear, however, what role Brown might have on the network. Though Brown has told several Republicans that he will have a gig on Fox, the spokesman said the talks are not final.”
Politico: “Republicans and Fox News are moving to purge the controversial political creatures they created. Both were damaged badly in 2012 by loud, partisan voices that stoked the base — but that scared the hell out of many voters. Now, the GOP, with its dismal image, and Fox News, with its depressed ratings in January, are scrambling to dim those voices.”
CALIFORNIA: “The leading candidates for mayor of Los Angeles have dialed up their rhetoric as a March 5 primary draws closer, but they are still little known to a large number of voters in the city and remain determined to make a good first impression. That helps explain the mostly civil tone that re-emerged Wednesday night as the contenders squared off in a radio debate,” The Los Angeles Times reports.
By the way, the California vs. Texas war of words continues. The Sacramento Bee editorial page: “Poor Texas. With its high dropout rate, lack of health insurance coverage and economic disparities, the Lone Star State appears to be desperate, or least its governor is. How else to explain Gov. Rick Perry's unseemly radio ads attempting to lure businesses away from California? … Yes, come check out Texas. Check out a state that ranks dead last in the percent of its population with high school diplomas. Come check out a state that is last in mental health expenditures and workers' compensation coverage. Come check out a state that ranks first in the number of executions, first in the number of uninsured, first in the amount of carbon dioxide emitted and first in the amount of toxic chemicals released into water.”
More: “Gov. Jerry Brown, visiting a UPS distribution center Tuesday to celebrate a new fleet of all-electric vehicles, suggested that media hounds find something else to cover than the Perry ads. ‘It's not a serious story, guys,’ the governor told reporters. ‘It's not a burp. It's barely a fart.’ Actually, we think it's more than a fart. It's a cry for help. Perry can't create jobs, he can only steal them from other states. His campaign for the Republican presidential nomination was a joke. His beloved Dallas Cowboys haven't been in the Super Bowl since 1996.”
GEORGIA: AP: The worst-kept secret in Georgia politics is official: Rep. Paul Broun is running for the U.S. Senate. The Athens Republican is the first candidate to enter the 2014 field officially, but he’s certain not to be the last as several GOP congressmen mull a race that blew wide open when Sen. Saxby Chambliss announced last month that he would not seek a third term. Other Republicans mentioned are Reps. Paul Gingrey of Marietta, Jack Kingston of Savannah and Tom Price of Roswell. National Democrats, meanwhile, say Georgia is a prime pick-up opportunity, though no clear candidates have emerged.
MASSACHUSETTS: “The race for John Kerry’s former U.S. Senate seat could be getting more crowded in the next few days as a slew of Massachusetts Republicans are considering jumping into the special election,” The Associated Press writes. “Aides to state Sen. Bruce Tarr said the Gloucester Republican was ‘‘carefully weighing’’ a bid, while Governor’s Council member Jennie Caissie, an Oxford Republican, said Wednesday she’s also considering running. Gabriel Gomez, a former Navy Seal, has also expressed interest in the race. On Tuesday, Republican state Rep. Daniel Winslow announced he had formed an exploratory committee and said he was ‘‘99 percent there’’ when asked if he would run. Winslow, who served as legal counsel to former Gov. Mitt Romney, did not say when he would have a final decision.”
MONTANA: VIDEO: Former Montana State Senator Corey Stapleton will challenge Democratic Senator Max Baucus to become the next U.S. Senator from Montana.