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:
* Iowa Democrats have made clear they’d like to see Hillary Clinton campaign for their support, and the newly announced Democratic candidate appears happy to oblige. The former Secretary of State’s road trip to Iowa began yesterday.
* In a significant surprise, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater (R) announced over the weekend that he will not run for the Marco Rubio’s (R) Senate seat in 2016. With polls showing Atwater as the frontrunner, Democrats were thrilled with the announcement.
* Speaking of people who we thought might run for the Senate but who’ve decided against it, Rep. Bill Foster (D) seemed likely to run in Illinois, but he reversed course over the weekend and threw his support to Tammy Duckworth, the likely Democratic nominee.
* In New Hampshire, the latest NH1 poll shows Scott Walker with the advantage over Jeb Bush in the first Republican presidential primary, 23% to 17%. Rand Paul is a close third with 15%, and no other candidate reaches double digits.
* Speaking of Walker, the Wisconsin governor’s familiarity with foreign policy – or in his case, the lack of familiarity – has been an obvious problem for his candidacy, but he’s hired full-time foreign policy aides to get him up to speed. The team includes several Hill staffers, including aides from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
* Nearly all of the Republican presidential candidates spoke at the NRA’s national gathering a few days ago, though looking ahead, some of the White House hopefuls will have to explain their previous breaks with party orthodoxy on guns. Jeb Bush previously supported background checks for gun purchases, while Scott Walker once endorsed tightening gun laws for those convicted of felony-equivalent offenses.
* And members of the Democracy Alliance held their spring retreat in San Francisco over the weekend, where liberal donors discussed “a new five-year plan” focused on improving the party’s infrastructure, most notably at the state level where Democrats have suffered brutal losses in recent years.