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:
* Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) announced this morning that he will not run for Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s (D) seat next year. “I am hopeful and confident that very capable public servants with a desire to serve in the Senate will step up as candidates for this important office,” he said. “I will not be one of them.”
* In related news, Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s (D-Md.) office says he’s “very likely” to run to succeed Mikulski, though the primary may soon get crowded. Keep an eye on, among others, Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D).
* As if New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) weren’t having enough trouble, a new Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll shows his approval rating in his home state dropping to just 35%. A majority of Christie’s own constituents now disapprove of how he’s doing his job.
* Speaking of Christie, some of the governor’s financial backers are launching their “first event for bundlers.” A total of 25 donors, who’ll raise between $25,000 and $100,000 each for Christie’s political action committee, will meet later this month in suburban Bernardsville, N.J.
* Though paid speeches are unusual for presidential candidate, former Gov. Jeb Bush (R) will deliver a paid speech to the American Council of Life Insurers today in Las Vegas. It will reportedly be his last paid speech before officially kicking off his campaign.
* Former Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) presidential campaign is staffing up, hiring Austin Barbour to head up his super PAC. Barbour is the brother of an RNC member and the nephew of Haley Barbour, the former governor and former RNC chairman.
* Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his speech to the U.S. Congress is not about his re-election campaign, but it’s worth nothing that he’s streaming the speech on his campaign website this morning. The Israeli election is March 17 – two weeks from today.