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Thursday's Campaign Round-Up, 2.2.17

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.* The 2018 midterms are still 19 months away, but the Washington Post reports that the DCCC, eager to "harness the wave of grass-roots protests," is now hiring "full-time operatives to do political organizing work in 20 key Republican-held districts."* Former Vice President Joe Biden, making his first political foray since leaving office, announced his support for Tom Perez yesterday in the race for the DNC chairmanship. Biden called the former Labor Secretary the "best bet to help bring the party back."* On a related note, the field of DNC candidates shrunk a little yesterday when party officials ended Vincent Tolliver's candidacy, following the Arkansas Democrat's criticism of Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) over his religion. The Hill reported that Tolliver, who participated in a recent DNC debate, said Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, should not be chairman because of Islamic positions on homosexuality.* Vice President Mike Pence seems bothered by the scrutiny his boss is receiving. "I have to tell you that in all of my life there was always a grace period, right?" he told Rush Limbaugh yesterday. "New president's coming in. I think they call it a honeymoon, right, where the media, like the others, gives the new administration a chance to come in and start to do what they do. And boy, if there was a honeymoon, it was pretty short."* House Republicans still aren't happy that a recording from their recent retreat leaked to the media, and they're demanding answers about how the incident happened.* For reasons that aren't entirely clear, Donald Trump's personal physician, Dr. Harold Bornstein, has begun talking to the media about the prescription medication the president takes.* In what I believe is the first election since Trump's inauguration, a Democrat won a special election in Iowa House District 89 this week. The seat was previously held by a Democrat who is now in the state Senate.* House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said yesterday, "I have spoken more with Donald Trump in the last month more than I have spoken with Barack Obama in the last eight years." I wonder whose fault that is -- and how much good it would've done if Obama called Ryan every day.