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Posted at 5:17 PM ET, 03/ 8/2011

Afternoon Fix: Dick Lugar explains budget vote, Nikki Haley writing memoir

By Chris Cillizza

Richard Lugar says he misunderstood a question about the budget, Jane Corwin says she never hired an illegal immigrant nanny, Nikki Haley is writing a memoir and Indiana politicians are now fighting over Abraham Lincoln.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

* Sen. Richard Lugar's primary challenger is accusing the Indiana Republican of flip-flopping on the budget. "Senator Lugar's vacillation betrays his liberal instincts," Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. It was reported that Lugar said he would vote against the House Republicans' budget proposal. The senator later said he would vote for the plan, and that he misunderstood the question.

* Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.), a likely victim of redistricting, might run for lieutenant governor. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Carnahan "did nothing to temper the speculation by speaking at Democrats Days in Hannibal this weekend."

* Former Massachusetts congressman Joe Kennedy (D) will not challenge Sen. Scott Brown (R) in 2012, he reiterated today. "I spent 12 years in Washington, D.C. It was a great experience, a wonderful thing. I encourage you to try it anytime you like. But I enjoy very much the work that I do and want to continue doing it," he said in a news conference.

* New York Republican congressional candidate Jane Corwin is denying ever employing an illegal immigrant as a nanny, after the question was raised last week by a local radio talk show host. It's "100 percent a lie, presumably being spread by a desperate campaign," said a Corwin spokesman. Corwin is running for the seat vacated by Rep. Chris Lee (R) in the wake of his shirtless-photo scandal.

* The fight in Indiana has turned historical. Democratic state representatives, in the midst of a budget standoff, are studying up on Abraham Lincoln's leap from the window of the statehouse to delay a vote that would kill the Illinois State Bank. Republicans are now countering that Lincoln's leap didn't happen until after the vote, and that the president later regretted his dramatic move.

* If you saw Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on "Meet the Press" last weekend and were wondering about her "$105 billion" sign, PolitiFact has rated her claim that money was "hidden in the Obamacare legislation to fund the implementation of Obamacare" as "Barely True." There was very little coverage of the spending, but it was not secret.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN'T MISS

* House Speaker John Boehner is holding a bipartisan meeting tomorrow afternoon to decide whether the House should take legal action to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

* Fresh off their appearances at the Iowa Faith and Family forum last night in Waukee, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum will attend the Woodbury County Republican presidential candidate forum tonight in Sioux City. This one won't be on C-SPAN - sparing all of us the scorn of Santorum, who said last night that people watching Iowa political forums on television don't have lives.

* She's only been in office a few months, but South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is writing a memoir. The 39-year-old Republican, the first female governor of her state and the second Indian-American governor in history, says that "since the election it was amazing the number of people of people who wanted to know my story." Haley says the book has nothing to do with presidential politics, but she's hired the man who negotiated deals for the last three presidents: Washington, D.C., attorney Robert Barnett.

* The race to replace Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) is on. Democratic businessman Byron Georgiou declared his candidacy on Tuesday afternoon, saying that "over the course of the past year I have received significant encouragement to run for this seat at both a local and national level. Las Vegas Sun reporter Jon Ralston is skeptical.

THE FIX MIX

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With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake

By Chris Cillizza  | March 8, 2011; 5:17 PM ET
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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