Friday's Campaign Round-Up, 2.3.17

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

* A conservative group is spending "more than $500,000" to air commercials in support of education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos. A vote on the Michigan megadonor is scheduled for Tuesday and the vote will be very close.

* Steve Bannon met with some top-tier Republican donors recently, and according to BuzzFeed's report, the White House strategist explained that he intends to "use the 2018 midterm elections as the arena to test the political clout of Trump's populist message."

* Less than a month into the new Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan has already "set a torrid fundraising pace," delivering $3.4 million raised in January to the National Republican Campaign Committee.

* Following Donald Trump's complaints about the F-35 project, Lockheed Martin Corp. reportedly turned to the lobbying firm owned by Trump's former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.

* Speaking of the lobbying industry, former Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), on the heels of his gubernatorial defeat in his native Louisiana, has landed a job on K Street.

* How incompetent is the Trump White House? Even Karl Rove, who knows a little something about White House incompetence, is complaining about "amateur hour" at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

* If Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is confirmed as the next attorney general, which appears very likely, Alabama Gov. Bob Bentley (R) will appoint his successor. The governor announced yesterday his six finalists for the post.

* And in the race to become the next DNC chair, former Vice President Walter Mondale has thrown his support behind his fellow Minnesotan, Rep. Keith Ellison. The announcement comes on the heels of former Vice President Joe Biden endorsing Tom Perez for the post.