Friday’s campaign round-up

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:

* On the day the Republican presidential frontrunner kicked off his campaign in New Hampshire, the state’s largest paper ran a larger front-page photo of … Sarah Palin, who was also in town. Mitt Romney’s kickoff was relegated to page A3.

* Further removing doubts that she will be a presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) will participate in a Republican presidential debate on June 13 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

* A leading campaign operative on Newt Gingrich’s team in Iowa has resigned. The move was unexpected — this operative is a longtime Gingrich loyalist.

* Michele Bachmann took a swipe at fellow Minnesotan and presidential campaign rival Tim Pawlenty (R) yesterday for his previous support for an individual health care mandate.

* And speaking of Minnesota, a new poll shows Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) cruising past her Republican challenger, Dan Severson, 56% to 28%. She also enjoys a 61% approval rating with her constituents.

* Former Rhode Island Gov. Don Carcieri (R) had expressed an interest in a Senate campaign next year, but announced this week he will not run against Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D).

* In Connecticut, former U.S. Comptroller David Walker is interested in running for the Senate, and would likely run as a Republican. Walker moved to Connecticut from Northern Virginia last year.

* Struggling to gain traction, Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams (R) will reportedly end his Senate campaign and will instead run for the U.S. House next year.

* Massachusetts state Rep. Tom Conroy (D) has joined the crowded field of Dems hoping to take on Sen. Scott Brown (R) next year.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.