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:
* Right-wing neurosurgeon Ben Carson moved closer to launching his Republican presidential campaign yesterday, forming an exploratory committee. To date, he and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are the only White House hopefuls who’ve taken this formal step.
* Speaking of Carson, the likely presidential candidate told CNN this morning that he believes homosexuality is “absolutely” a choice. He even tried to offer proof of his argument: “A lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight – and when they come out, they’re gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”
* How strong is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s (R) financial standing in the 2016 race? He’s urging donors not to contribute to him too much right now. The Washington Post reported, “The move reflects concerns among Bush advisers that accepting massive sums from a handful of uber-rich supporters could fuel a perception that the former governor is in their debt. The effort is also driven by a desire to build as broad a pool of donors as possible among wealthier contributors.”
* Speaking of Jeb, in an apparent pander to his party’s far-right base, Bush has announced his opposition to the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Complicating matters a bit, the Export-Import Bank helped Jeb Bush’s business interests in the not-too-distant past.
* In the latest national Quinnipiac poll, a majority of self-identified Republicans said they believe President Obama is neither a Christian nor a patriot. When GOP candidates pander to the fever swamps, keep this statistic in mind.
* Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) had an interesting explanation for his unique presidential candidacy: “When I look at this race and look and see where everybody else is and look at what else is going on, I realize we’ll probably be the only person in the race for a minimum wage increase. We’ll probably be the only person in this race that’s for scaling back legal immigration.”
* What do Democratic Party officials intend to do about scheduling debates for the party’s presidential candidates? At this point, no one seems to have any idea.