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:
* Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), gearing up for a possible presidential campaign, was asked yesterday whether he considers the war in Iraq a mistake. "I'm just going to reserve my comment on that," the Ohio Republican replied. It's been 12 years, gov, you've had time to formulate an opinion.
* As Rachel explained on the show last night, Jeb Bush's campaign is prepared to "turn some of a campaign's central functions over" to a super PAC, which legally is not supposed to coordinate with candidates or their staffs. Jeb would "endow" the separate entity "not just with advertising on Bush's behalf, but with many of the duties typically conducted by a campaign."
* Speaking of the former Florida governor, Bush has long been out of step with his party's base on Common Core education standards, and over the weekend in New Hampshire, he seemed to take steps that distance himself, at least a bit, from his previous position.
* The latest CNN poll shows President Obama's national standing back above water, with a 48% approval rating and a 47% disapproval rating. The president's handling of the economy has also reached heights unseen in recent years.
* Though Chris Christie has indicated a willingness to compete in Iowa, the New Jersey Republican has declined an invitation to attend the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition's annual conference this weekend. At least nine other candidates are expected to participate.
* The latest Public Policy Polling survey in New Hampshire points to a very competitive U.S. Senate race next year. If Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) challenges Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R), PPP shows the governor with a one-point lead over the incumbent, 46% to 45%.
* And right-wing neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who's scheduled to kick off his campaign in just two weeks, has argued that the "biggest issue" facing the U.S. today is that "we have abandoned God."