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Posted at 4:00 PM ET, 01/19/2011

Afternoon Fix: Bill Nelson will run for a third term in 2012; Joe Lieberman makes his retirement official

By Chris Cillizza

Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson will run for a third term in 2012; Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) makes his retirement official; Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) floats Lieberman for defense secretary; and The Post's Congressional Votes Database is here!

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* Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson announced that he will run for a third term in 2012. Nelson's move comes as a wide field of GOP challengers is eyeing bids against him, including former Sen. George LeMieux and state Senate President Mike Haridopolos.

* Connecticut Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman officially announced that he won't run for re-election in 2012. "I have always thought that my first responsibility is not to serve a political party but to serve my constituents, my state, and my country, and then to work across party lines to make sure good things get done for them," Lieberman said at a Stamford press conference.

* Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said that he hopes President Obama considers tapping Lieberman to be his next defense secretary, calling Lieberman "one of the most informed members of the Senate on national security issues and homeland security issues."

* Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) is weighing a challenge to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in 2012, saying that "it's something that I look at and kind of evaluate and we'll see what happens."


* The Post's Congressional Votes Database is here! Our new comprehensive tracking tool keeps track of votes cast by Senate and House members since 1991 and lets you sort votes by party, next election, incumbency and more. Bookmark it now (and let us know your thoughts).

* WMUR-TV and ABC News are hosting a New Hampshire straw poll of likely Republican presidential contenders this Saturday at the state Republican Party convention.

* Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who is gearing up for a potential 2012 presidential bid, has tapped veteran New Hampshire Republican activist Claira Monier to serve as chairwoman of his PAC in the Granite State.

* Illinois Sens. Mark Kirk (R) and Dick Durbin (D) announced that they will sit together during next week's State of the Union address, becoming the latest lawmakers to announce their support for a bipartisan seating plan first proposed by the centrist Democratic group Third Way.

* At a news conference today with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Obama joked when asked about a potential 2012 challenge from Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman. "I'm sure that him having worked so well for me will be a great asset in any Republican primary," Obama said.


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By Chris Cillizza  | January 19, 2011; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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Next: A three-way pileup atop 2012 GOP presidential race

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