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Posted at 3:46 PM ET, 12/17/2010

Afternoon Fix: Mike Duncan won't seek RNC chair; Lieberman says he would likely run as an independent; Palin will wait to announce intentions

By Chris Cillizza

The Republican National Committee Chair race loses a potential competitor, Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman (I) says he's likely to run as an independent (if he runs at all in 2012) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin won't be making a 2012 decision anytime soon.

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* Former Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan announced Friday that he will not seek his old job. Duncan, who participated in a candidates debate recently, said "changes in my family, business and outside responsibilities make it impossible for me to devote the time needed to effectively lead the RNC over the next two years."

* Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Friday that, if he runs for reelection, it's likely to be as an independent candidate. Lieberman, a former Democrat who still caucuses with the party, has previously suggested he could run in either the GOP or Democratic primaries.

* Sarah Palin said she won't decide on running for president for "some months still."

* Outgoing Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) says he wishes he would have run for a third term as governor this year, noting the things he could have accomplished with Republicans now in control the state legislature.

* Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's lawyers have revealed photos proving that he stored things in the crawl space of his Chicago house - evidence, they say, that he planned to return to his hometown and meets the residency requirement for running for mayor.

* Most upwardly mobile Republicans voted against President Obama's tax cut compromise late Thursday night, while most vulnerable Democrats voted for it. Among the GOP no votes were potential Senate candidates like Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Dennis Rehberg (Mont.), Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Pete Hoekstra (Mich.) and Connie Mack (Fla.). Potential GOP presidential candidate Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.) also voted no. In addition, of the 15 Democrats considered most vulnerable in 2012 by the Cook Political Report, 14 voted yes.


* We are just four short days from the U.S. Census Bureau's announcement of which states will be gaining and losing congressional seats in 2012. Cook Political Report redistricting guru David Wasserman looks at the states that are "on the bubble."

* CNN and the Tea Party Express are combining to hold a GOP presidential primary debate in Tampa, Fla., the week of Labor Day.

* Rep.-elect David Rivera (R-Fla.) is facing increasing scrutiny, as the Miami-Dade state attorney's office is investigating half a million dollars in secret payments made by a dog track to a marketing company that is co-managed by Rivera's mother. Rivera had pushed a slots initiative that was supported by the dog track.

* Alaska Supreme Court justices are now hearing GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller's appeal.

* The first salvos of a potential matchup between Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning (R) have been launched. The topic: earmarks.

* Christine Pelosi, the daughter of outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and a former executive director of the California Democratic Party, has been named interim executive director of Young Democrats of America.


Warning: Seagulls love pastries.

With Felicia Sonmez and Aaron Blake

By Chris Cillizza  | December 17, 2010; 3:46 PM ET
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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