Afternoon Fix: David Dewhurst leaning toward bid to succeed Kay Bailey Hutchison; Tim Pawlenty says Sarah Palin was "falsely accused"
Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) is leaning toward a bid to succeed retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas); former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty (R) said that former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (R) was "falsely accused" in the wake of the Tucson shootings; and the House will begin debating the health-care repeal bill next week.
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EARLIER ON THE FIX
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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
* Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) is leaning toward a bid for the seat of retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas). "While my focus remains on the challenges we face here at the state level and making this upcoming session successful, I fully intend to explore running for the United States Senate, and should I run, I will run with the intention of winning and continuing to serve the people of Texas just as I have done throughout my career," Dewhurst said in a statement released a few hours after Hutchison's retirement announcement.
* At a National Press Club luncheon kicking off his national book tour, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty (R) said that former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (R) was "falsely accused" in the wake of the Tucson shootings. He also reiterated his opposition to repealing "don't ask, don't tell" and defended former D.C. public schools chief Michelle Rhee.
* A new Quinnipiac University poll shows that 48 percent of registered voters approve of the job President Obama is doing while 44 percent disapprove. In mid-November, 44 percent approved and 49 percent disapproved.
* North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk (R) has formed an exploratory committee ahead of a potential 2012 bid against Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.). Kalk said he has discussed the race with his family and began calling supporters last week.
* Seventy-one percent of Americans oppose raising the debt ceiling, while only 18 percent support an increase, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll.
WHAT YOU SHOULDN'T MISS
* Palin is slated to sit down with Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity on Monday night for her first extended interview since Saturday's shooting.
* The House will begin debating the health-care repeal bill next week, with a vote expected on Wednesday. House Democratic leaders have reportedly settled on branding the repeal effort "The Patient's Rights Repeal Act."
* Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) has tapped former Republican National Committee political director Rich Beeson to be political director for his all-but-certain 2012 presidential bid. In addition, Public Opinion Strategies' Neil Newhouse has signed up to be Romney's pollster.
* Former Reps. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) and Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) are heading to Harvard's Institute of Politics, where they'll be resident fellows during the spring semester. Meanwhile, former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.) is joining the board that oversees the South Dakota State University Innovation Campus.
* The National Republican Congressional Committee has hired Liesl Hickey to head up its incumbent retention program for the 2012 cycle. Hickey previously worked an adviser to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
THE FIX MIX
With Felicia Sonmez and Aaron Blake
| January 13, 2011; 5:30 PM ET
Categories: Afternoon Fix
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