Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that won’t necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:
* The 2015 Iowa Ag Summit, which is organized by agribusiness mega-donor Bruce Rastetter, is tomorrow and will feature quite an (ahem) cattle call. The scheduled speakers, in this order, are Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, Rick Santorum, and Scott Walker. Marco Rubio was scheduled to attend, but had to cancel for a family commitment.
* Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.), the only women committee chair in the Republican-led House, announced yesterday she’ll retire at the end of this term. Her district, Michigan’s 10th, tends to lean in the GOP’s direction and would be a tough pick-up opportunity for Democrats.
* Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) apparently received a fair amount of criticism from the right this week for not applauding vociferously enough during Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. Conservative politics can get a little creepy sometimes.
* In the 2012 presidential campaign, it seemed most of the leading Republican presidential candidates had a billionaire benefactor advancing their candidacies. As the 2016 race takes shape, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has already lined up a similar base of support: Norman Braman, a Miami billionaire, is prepared to invest “as much as $10 million into a pro-Rubio super PAC.”
* Jeb Bush’s team continues to brag to reporters about their fundraising prowess, telling Time magazine that the former governor “has often netted a million bucks a day and sometimes more.”
* Hillary Clinton continues to hire staff for her unannounced presidential campaign, hiring Matt Paul, a longtime Tom Vilsack aide, to oversee her Iowa operation.
* Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), facing a runoff and fearing for his career, released a new TV ad yesterday acknowledging his abrasiveness. “They say your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness. I’m living proof of that,” Emanuel says in the ad. “I can rub people the wrong way, or talk when I should listen. I own that. But I’m driven to make a difference.”
* And soon after Ben Carson apologized for his latest anti-gay comments, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer expressed his outrage – because he didn’t want Carson to back down. “Dr. Carson seems to be not considering the possibility that some people could be offended because he apologized,” Fischer said. “They’re disappointed in him because he apologized.”