MONDAY’S CAMPAIGN ROUND-UP….Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that wouldn’t generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers.
* Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) will reportedly announce tomorrow that he is running for the Senate next year, just two years after taking office. Expect a very interesting primary battle to take shape between Crist and former state House Speaker Marco Rubio.
* MoveOn.org is entering the fray in Pennsylvania, pushing for a primary challenger to take on Arlen Specter next year.
* Speaking of Specter, the Pennsylvania senator recently launched a website that appeared to be raising money to combat cancer, when it was actually just a re-election effort. The site’s wording was overhauled over the weekend.
* To the frustration of Republicans everywhere, Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) re-emphasized over the weekend that he will, in fact, seek re-election next year.
* With Tom Ridge passing on the Senate race in Pennsylvania, are Republicans content to roll the dice with former Rep. Pat Toomey? No, but their options are limited. Chris Cillizza noted this morning, “State and national Republicans are treating the race like an open seat and are still looking for alternatives to Toomey — although the names are few and far between.”
* Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) is poised to announce his next move, though it’s not entirely clear what that will be. Israel was initially eyeing the mayoral race in New York, but is now reportedly planning to challenge Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in a Democratic primary.
* Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) had been eyeing the state’s gubernatorial race, but with Gov. Pat Quinn (D) looking fairly strong, the popular Madigan is rumored to be turning her attention to next year’s Senate race.
* Nicolle Wallace, a top adviser to George W. Bush and John McCain’s presidential campaign, believes actor Gary Sinise could be the Republican Party’s savior. “The natural strengths that an actor brings to politics would come in handy to anyone going up against Obama in 2012,” Wallace argued over the weekend. “We will need an effective communicator who can stand toe to toe with Obama’s eloquence.” She was, in case you’re wondering, serious.