No earth-shattering developments, but there's lots and lots of little nuggets of news for your Friday.
MA-Sen: John Kerry looks very likely to be the next SoS as Susan Rice bows to her unconfirmability and withdraws her name. The decision would set up a special election where outgoing Sen. Scott Brown could run; in recent days he's seemed increasingly open to that possibility, though it seems to me at least that a Gubernatorial bid would be a better fit.
More MA-Sen: Quirky former Gov. Bill Weld (R) has abruptly burst back onto the political scene, mere days after repatriating to Cambridge from New York. After being a nonentity in MA politics for 15 years (and even running for NY Governor in 2006) Weld is now giving interviews to any reporter that will sit still. It doesn't take a lot of dot-connecting to see he's very interested in running for Kerry's seat again. Though Weld has said he would defer to Scott Brown if he wanted to return to the Senate, Weld would be a strong Plan B for Republicans if Brown opts to run for Governor.
NE-Sen: Former Sen. Chuck Hagel ("R"-NE) is likely to be Obama's SecDef nominee, possibly setting up an awkward situation for Sens. Mike Johanns and Deb Fischer. Hagel endorsed Kerrey over Fischer last year and has had strained relations with the rest of the NEGOP over his leftward lurch.
IL-Sen, IL-Gov: Joe Walsh may run against Dick Durbin; unless the incumbent retires no Republican is likely to have much of a chance here so I'd be fine with him going for it. He's also considering a run for Governor, which could be problematic for the GOP's good chances of picking up the seat.
SC-Sen (Class III): Stephen Colbert was "vetted" by Haley for the Senate appointment.
WATN: In an exit interview of sorts, KBH details her thoughts on her Senate career and her unsuccessful run for Texas Governor in 2010.
IL-2: Heading into tomorrow's Democratic pseudo-convention to designate a standard-bearer, opponents are ganging up on front-running State Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) over his arrest for attempting to board an airplane with a gun.
AZ-Gov: Jan Brewer (R) is making some noise about challenging AZ's term limits law so that she can run again in 2014. Even if she did succeed in gaining the right to try again, it's far from guaranteed she'd win - or even clear a primary field of the half-dozen or so folks being talked about as potential candidates for the open seat.
TN-Gov: State House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley) is considering a (sacrificial lamb) run for Governor, as a new Vanderbilt poll shows Gov. Haslam with a massive 68% approval rating.
MI-Gov: Michigan Dems have significant bench problems, as most of their big names started their political careers in the 1960s (and at least one of the others started in the 50s). Here's a set of mini-profiles of 4 people who are young enough to think about challenging Snyder.
SC-Gov: A recap on this race, where State Sen. Vincent Sheheen (D-Camden) is licking his chops for a rematch of his 2010 bid against Haley.
It also seems that it's time to celebrate Weird Gubernatorial Internal Poll Day!
Part 1 - VA-Gov: Gov. Bob McDonnell releases an internal poll showing Cuccinelli (R) behind McAuliffe (D) by one point, 43-42. Why the governor felt the need to release that I don't know.
Part 2 - AR-Gov: AG Dustin McDaniel (D) releases a poll showing him a strong favorite in a D primary, as expected... but also quite weak in a general election, losing to former Rep. and 2006 R nominee Asa Hutchinson and leading LG Mark Darr based on name rec.
Part 3 - FL-Gov: Someone commissioned a Crist vs. Sink D primary poll, and it showed Crist crushing 2010 Gov nominee Sink 55-34, with strong faves among Democrats. It's anyone's guess who would commission this poll and why, but the pollster says it's not someone closely connected to Crist or Sink.
State & Local:
NY-SD-14, etc: Democrats are already starting to test the waters for primary challengers to the 6 Coalition Democrats. The one who seems to be in the most danger is Malcolm Smith (ID-Jamaica, Queens), who may draw a challenge from city councilman Leroy Comrie in his heavily D, black-majority seat. Primary challengers to the other Senators are complicated by the fact that they represent relatively swingy districts and could probably win re-election on the Republican line if necessary; however, Brooklyn D chair Frank Seddio announced his interest in challenges to Coalition Dems Simcha Felder of Boro Park and Diane Savino, whose seat includes Bensonhurst.
MS-LD-48: State Rep. Jason Malone of West, in the delta region, has switched parties from D to R a year after his first election to the chamber. His district was made more conservative in redistricting.
UT-LD-69: Recently defeated State Rep. Christine Watkins of Price is switching from D to R, though she sounds downright Specterian about her party switch. Watkins openly admits that her new label is to help her win the seat back iin 2014 via a primary/convention challenge to the man who ousted her based on little more than his party ID, Rep-elect Jerry Anderson (R).
NC-Dem Party: Embattled NCDP chair David Parker won't seek a second term, after astoundingly having his resignation refused by the state committe earlier this year amidst a harassment scandal. Outgoing State Sen. Eric Mansfield of Fayetteville, who lost a bid for LG in the primary, is the strong favorite to succeed him.
MN-GOP: Things are slowly starting to return to sanity for the long-discombobulated Minnesota GOP, which is beginning to pay down its crushing 7-figure debt. However, there is more internal strife emerging in the party over how to conduct primary elections and if the binding convention endorsement should retain its importance.
MI-RTW: A very interesting and worthwhile read on the process of passing Right to Work in Michigan.