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:
* Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will host a presidential campaign kickoff event in his home town of Burlington, Vermont, this afternoon. On the other side of the partisan aisle, Rick Santorum joins the race tomorrow, followed by George Pataki on Wednesday. On Saturday, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will join Sanders and Hillary Clinton in the Democratic field.
* The Koch brothers are prepared to invest roughly $900 million in the presidential race, but not necessarily in support of one candidate. “We are thinking of supporting several Republicans,” David Koch told Larry Kudlow on Saturday. “If we’re happy with the policies that these individuals are supporting, we’ll finance their campaigns.”
* Despite recruiting efforts from national party leaders, Rep. Josh Shapiro (D) has decided not to run for the Senate in Pennsylvania next year.
* National Democratic leaders believe Sen. Richard Burr (R) will be vulnerable in North Carolina next year, and they believe former Sen. Kay Hagan (D), who lost her re-election bid last year, is the best candidate for the job.
* At the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City, retired right-wing neurosurgeon Ben Carson won the presidential straw poll with 25.4% of the vote.
* At the same event, Carly Fiorina told the Republican crowd, “Nowhere is leadership more important now than in the world.” I’m not entirely sure what that means.
* And one of Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) two new books comes out today. Today’s release is called, “Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America.” I believe this is the senator’s fourth book since taking office four years ago, with a fifth due later this year.