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Afternoon Fix: Larry Summers leaving White House; Michelle Obama to enter 2010 fray

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* Larry Summers, the director of the National Economic Council, will return to a teaching position at Harvard University at the end of the year. "I will always be grateful that at a time of great peril for our country, a man of Larry's brilliance, experience and judgment was willing to answer the call and lead our economic team," said President Obama of Summer's impending departure.

* First Lady Michelle Obama's foray into the 2010 election will include fundraisers for Illinois state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias's (D) Senate campaign and Sens. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

* New polls from Democratic-leaning automated pollster Public Policy Polling show Feingold down by 11 points and West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) trailing in his Senate campaign within the margin of error. The Feingold poll was conducted for the liberal website Daily Kos.

* A new Fox News poll in Delaware shows New Castle County Executive Chris Coons (D) leading marketing consultant Christine O'Donnell (R) 54 percent to 39 percent.

* Rhode Island state Treasurer Frank Caprio (D) has opened up a 36 percent-to-24 percent lead on former GOP Sen. Lincoln Chafee (I) in a new Quest Research poll conducted for a local NBC affiliate. Republican nominee John Robitaille is at 13 percent.

* Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) apologized after a Chicago Sun-Times report about a female "social acquaintance" that a supporter flew to Chicago. Jackson said it is a "private and personal matter" that he and his wife have settled, and he asked for privacy.


* Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), in a fundraising letter, calls Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) a "big tent hypocrite" and a "Republican-in-name-only." How much more does this battle escalate?

* Is the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" dead after it couldn't beat a filibuster? And even if it is, does it live on in campaigns across the country?

* Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) will raise money for former Rep. Pat Toomey's (R-Pa.) Senate campaign on Friday.

* Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) becomes the third potential GOP presidential candidate set to raise money for New Hampshire GOP governor candidate John Stephen next week. Pawlenty will campaign for Stephen on Sept. 30, after Mitt Romney and Haley Barbour do the same. Pawlenty will also campaign for former Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta's (R) 1st congressional district campaign and is endorsing Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte and former Rep. Charlie Bass in the state's other U.S. House district.


Forget the treadmills, there are cute dogs!

With Felicia Sonmez and Aaron Blake

By Aaron Blake  | September 21, 2010; 5:24 PM ET
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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