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. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), the longest-serving woman in the history of Congress, announced this morning she'll retire at the end of her current term next year. Expect a crowded field, though the DSCC is optimistic about keeping the seat in Democratic hands.
* Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) won the CPAC Straw Poll over the weekend, edging out Gov. Scott Walker (R), 25.7% to 21.4%. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Ben Carson were the only other candidates to reach double digits. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) finished 10th, just behind Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina.
* It took him a couple of weeks, but Scott Walker has apparently come up with an inoffensive answer on whether or not President Obama loves America: "He and anybody else who is willing to put their name on the ballot certainly has to have a love for country to do that."
* One of Bill Kristol's political entities appears to have launched the first attack ad of the 2016 presidential campaign. The Emergency Committee for Israel, a neoconservative group created by Kristol, launched the $200,000 ad buy to connect Hillary Clinton to Democratic criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress.
* Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) will have to decide relatively soon whether to seek a second term or run for the White House. Local reports suggest the governor is likely to run for re-election.
* Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) has run into a variety of controversies lately, but the Chicago Sun-Times reports today that the Republican congressman also "used taxpayer money to pay for a private plane to travel from Peoria to Chicago" for a football game in November.
* And in the May 5 congressional special election in New York, Democrats have nominated Brooklyn Councilman Vincent Gentile to take on prosecutor Daniel Donovan (R). The election is needed to fill a vacancy left by former Rep. Michael Grimm (R), who was forced to resign in January.