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Florida Governor Rick Scott’s name has been thrown around Kentucky for several weeks. Scott’s attempt to stop a prescription drug tracking system has prompted state, federal and city officials* to reach out to the Floridian leader and encourage him to reconsider the cut.

Scott has also made national headlines for refusing to accept federal money for high-speed rail projects in his state.

The Washington Post cites those issues and several others in a post predicting that Scott will soon take the spotlight from the GOP governors in Wisconsin, Mississippi and New Jersey, who have each notably clashed with President Barack Obama in recent months.

*Governor Beshear, Congressman Rogers, Attorney General Conway, Lieutenant Governor Mongiardo, U.S. Drug Czar Kerlikowske and several police officers and sheriffs

Kentucky Congressman Ben Chandler is among a dozen Democrats being targeted in a series of radio ads from the conservative-aligned Crossroads GPS organization. The ads criticize the representatives for voting against a Republican-backed bill to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year, largely through major spending cuts. The spots also praise Republicans for supporting the legislation.

The Washington Post has more on what the ads say about the next year for Chandler.

The ads, which provide an early window into both parties’ most vulnerable members heading into 2012, are the second major buy Crossroads has laid down this year.

The early spending suggests that Crossroads GPS and American Crossroads plan on continuing their active presence in House and Senate elections — not to mention the presidential race — in 2012.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has spent months fueling speculation that he’ll seek the Republican nomination for President in 2012. He made what may be his boldest statement this week in an interview with Politico. He told the D.C. news outlet that he would have the money and support to win the election, but his wife’s concerns may keep him out of the race.

“If I were to decide to do this, we would have an unbelievable letterhead,” Daniels predicted in a POLITICO interview Wednesday, lighting up as the hour-long conversation turned to why he could win.

“I don’t know if we’d raise the most, but for whatever reason, there are an awful lot of people standing by who I think know how to do this a lot better than I do,” he said, noting that he’s being pushed to run by an array of business types and political figures.

Daniels’s path to run is clearer now than ever, since Indiana Congressman Mike Pence decided not to run.

An internal poll conducted for the gubernatorial ticket of Senate President David Williams and Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer gives the slate the lead in the GOP primary with 47% of the vote

The poll places Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw and her running mate Bill Vermillion in second place with 10%. Louisville businessman Phil Moffett and his running mate, state Representative Mike Harmon, trail with 9%.

CN2 has the response from the Holsclaw and Moffett campaigns. Both criticize the numbers, either by dismissing them or pointing out that Williams and Farmer have support from less than half of those polled.

On the Democratic side, incumbent Steve Beshear is running unopposed with Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramsonsharing the ticket.

Independent Gatewood Galbraith is also running with Dea Riley as his running mate.

 

Freshman Kentucky Senator Rand Paul continues his push to cut $500 billion from the federal budget.

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Paul, a Republican, spoke for the Tea Party Caucus  “Bring on the cuts! And then, bring on more!”

Paul’s budget plan would cut billions from the departments of education, housing and agriculture, among others. It puts him and his Tea Party Caucus (which is a minority in the Senate and in the GOP) at odds with both major parties, which are championing different spending plans.

With Congressman Mike Pence out of the running for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, Republican Hoosiers’ are once again looking to Governor Mitch Daniels. In a search for my last post on Daniels, I stumbled on an article from last week that I apparently missed.

From Politico:

If pundits and columnists represented the GOP base, Mitch Daniels would be the odds-on favorite for the presidential nomination in 2012.

The Indiana governor has been showered with favorable coverage from political thinkers and analysts in recent months, most of which heaped praise on his thoughtful and principled approach to governing while celebrating his serious yet down-to-earth mien.

And here’s an update from the northwest.

Daniels led the local speculation for much of last year, but he’s kept a lower profile for the last few months as Pence took the spotlight.

The two Hoosiers in the pool of possible Republican Presidential candidates are in the headlines this week.

First, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is profiled in the New York Times:

Of all the Republicans talking about the deficit these days, Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, has arguably the most credibility.

[edit]

I recently sat down with him in his office to talk about what small government might actually look like. To be clear, it would be very different from the Tea Party dream, in which taxes could be cut;Medicare, Social Security and the military could be left untouched; and the deficit would somehow vanish. Mr. Daniels is willing to acknowledge as much.

Next, Politico reports that Representative Mike Pence will give the keynote address at the Awakening Conference’s annual black-tie dinner:

The conference—which in previous years has been held at the exclusive golf resort known as The Cloisters in Sea Island, Ga.—is an invitation-only gathering of conservative pols, thinkers and activists that was originally designed to counter the Renaissance Weekend, an event they characterized as a gathering of liberal elites. Former President Bill Clinton co-chaired that gathering in the past, but it has featured guests from both sides of the aisle.

Awakening has a history in presidential politics: In early 2007, it was the forum Romney used to try to explain away the moderate social positions he adopted as Massachusetts governor before pivoting into a presidential run that officially kicked off shortly afterward.


Lawmakers will soon begin to redraw legislative districts based on new census data. Many pundits have said this year’s elections have given Republicans an edge in redistricting, because the party has been voted into power in many areas.

But the Fix says the GOP’s wide majority in the House is evidence of the opposite:

In fact, they’ve got their work cut out for them in even keeping their current majorities in many states.

The Republican majority, which will be 47 seats when the new Congress is sworn in next month, will be bigger than at any point in the last 60 years. That means the party is already stretched pretty thin when it comes to the districts it holds.

Adding seats to that map is very difficult — even in many of the states where Republicans control the redistricting process and will be drawing the lines.

 

 

Indiana Congressman Mike Pence has again fed rumors that he’s considering run for President. Pence spoke Monday at the Detroit Economic Club. The club is often an early stop on the presidential campaign trail. In his speech, Pence embraced the flat tax and social conservatism, and may have set the first planks for his 2012 platform. But when the topic of an official declaration came up, Pence said he’s counting on divine intervention.

Pence told the group he and his family are “determined to take the next few months and pray about” a possible White House run.

Another Hoosier, Governor Mitch Daniels is also reportedly considering a run in 2012.

Representative Mike Pence (R-IN) is one half of the Republican Hoosiers reportedly mulling a 2012 bid for the White House. (Governor Mitch Daniels is the other, though he’s not making any decisions soon.)

Politico reports that Pence will soon give a high-profile speech at the Detroit Economic Club. It’s a move likely meant to further his name and reputation on the national scene.

Pence, who recently announced he would step down from House leadership, will address the club Nov. 29. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) spoke there earlier this year in what he billed as a major economic address.

Pence has been coy on what his future might hold, but in stepping down as chairman of the House Republican Conference, he acknowledged that his ambitions lay far beyond the House. He’s rumored to be eyeing a gubernatorial bid or a potential White House run in 2012.

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