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Ear to the Ground

GOP Senator’s Unexpected Retirement, Sarah Palin’s Next Step, and More

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Posted on Feb 18, 2013

Stepping Down: Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., surprised many in the political world Monday when he announced that he would not seek re-election after serving only one term. In an email to constituents that was co-signed by his wife, a former state senator, Johanns wrote: “At the end of this term, we will have been in public service over 32 years. Between the two of us, we have been on the ballot for primary and general elections 16 times and we have served in eight offices. It is time to close this chapter of our lives.” The seat is expected to remain in Republican hands. One name being floated around to run for the GOP in 2014: Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, who conveniently will be term limited out then. (Read more)

Still Around: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will once again speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), organizers of the high-profile right-wing event announced Monday. The onetime GOP vice presidential nominee recently parted ways with Fox News, but has pledged to remain active in politics. Palin will be joining a litany of high-profile conservatives at next month’s event, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. (Read more)

Write Stuff: David Corn, the Mother Jones reporter who broke the story of Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” remark that helped sink his candidacy, will receive one of journalism’s highest honors in April. Corn will get the Polk award in the political reporting category for uncovering the video of Romney’s comment. The Polk awards, named for former CBS News correspondent George Polk, focus primarily on investigative and enterprise reporting. (Read more)

Celebrating George: Contrary to what many think, Presidents Day isn’t actually about celebrating all of America’s presidents or buying mattresses—it’s really about honoring our nation’s first president around his birthday. The official name of Monday’s holiday is “George Washington’s Birthday,” although his actual birthday is Feb. 22. As The Christian Science Monitor noted, the holiday is “supposed to honor the Father of Our Country, and only him. Not Abraham Lincoln, not Franklin D. Roosevelt, not any other of the nation’s former chief executives. Chester A. Arthur will just have to get his own holiday, if he can.” (Read more)

Video of the Day: In his first congressional campaign ad, disgraced former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford acknowledges his past transgressions while pointing out that everyone—especiallyincluding himself—makes mistakes. Of course, most people don’t lie about their whereabouts and cheat on their wives while they’re running a state and then seek public office again, but you get the picture.

 

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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