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Off to the races: Are you ready for some CPAC?

USA Today: “As thousands of conservative activists gather Thursday for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, they can look at Capitol Hill with some satisfaction. Government spending has been slashed by the sequestration bill, a Senate filibuster opposed the constitutionality of drone use, and the House Republican budget proposal this week was predicated on the repeal of Obamacare — all core conservative policies. Yet among speakers stepping to the CPAC podium, one of the biggest names will be Mitt Romney, a reminder of the conservative movement's failure in the 2012 election. As a result, CPAC conservatives will be wrestling with the same issue bedeviling the Republican Party as a whole: how to make more friends among voters, and whether the way to do so is to change the message or the messaging.”

The man who shot the 47% video revealed himself yesterday on The Ed Show. A bartender at the event, Scott “Prouty said he was initially motivated to release the tape by a different comment that Romney had made in which he expressed interest in having his private equity firm buy a Chinese factory that employed 20,000 people who earned little money,” Reuters writes.

KENTUCKY: The AP: “It isn’t Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell who comes out swinging in his first TV ad of his 2014 re-election campaign. It’s his wife, former U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. ‘You’ve seen the ads attacking my husband,’ Chao, speaking directly into the camera, says in a spot that’s set to begin airing across Kentucky on Thursday. ‘As Mitch McConnell’s wife, I’ve learned to expect them. Now, far left special interests are also attacking my ethnicity, even attacking Mitch’s patriotism because he’s married to me. That’s how low some people will stoop.’”

MASSACHUSETTS: Rep. Stephen Lynch (D), running against Rep. Ed Markey for the Senate, is going all Elizabeth Warren in a letter to Eric Holder, saying that banks shouldn’t be “too big to jail.”

MICHIGAN: I just can’t quit you… National Journal: “Mitt Romney won’t be running for public office again after the shellacking he took in the 2012 presidential race. But that doesn’t mean his family is through with politics, too. Romney’s niece, Ronna Romney McDaniel, is considering a Senate run in Michigan, making her the fourth member of the extended Romney family to be connected to a congressional race since the 2012 election.”

The 39-year-old told the Detroit News: "It's something I'm going to consider (after) what I saw around the state with how frustrated people were with what's happening in D.C.. Maybe this is a time where we can bring a new voice and get a Republican senator from our state." She added, “"It's critical the GOP reach out to women. … The GOP has answers for that [economic issues women face]. And I would like to be able to reach out to women in a better way for the GOP. So if this is the avenue to do that, then that might be the course I take."

Context: “If Romney McDaniel joins the race, she'd be the third generation female Romney to launch a U.S. Senate bid. Her mother, Ronna Romney, ran for U.S. Senate in 1994 and 1996. Her grandmother, Lenore Romney, ran in 1970. Both were unsuccessful.”

MISSISSIPPI: Another win for junk food. “Lawmakers in Mississippi — the most obese state in the nation — have overwhelmingly approved what they’re calling the ‘anti-Bloomberg bill,’” the New York Daily News writes. “It would ban communities from requiring restaurants to post calorie counts on menus or limit portion sizes, as Mayor Bloomberg tried to do with his proposed ban on large sodas.  Also forbidden: any local rule banning toys from being distributed with kids’ meals.”

This comes after a judge reversed the New York mayor’s ban on soft drinks larger than 16 ounces. Bloomberg also instituted rules to display calorie counts on menus in an effort to fight the nation’s obesity crisis. Also yesterday, Twinkies were saved when Hostess spun off the brand to a buyer.

Mississippi is America’s most obese state, according to a 2012 list released by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation assembled from Centers for Disease Control statistics. More than one-in-three people in Mississippi are obese.

VIRGINIA: “Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will not sign the famed Americans for Tax Reform pledge against raising taxes, his campaign told Politico – a surprise move for a gubernatorial candidate known for his down-the-line conservatism. The presumptive Republican nominee for governor indicated in a private meeting with business leaders in Tuesday that he is not inclined to take the no-tax oath, sources said.”