Wednesday’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:

* Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty will be the first candidate to air television ads in Iowa, launching a $50,000 ad buy in several Iowa media markets starting tomorrow. It’s a reminder that Pawlenty realizes he has to start gaining traction soon.

* The right-wing Club for Growth released a 12-page white paper today, characterizing Jon Huntsman’s record on public spending as “inexcusable.” If Huntsman starts gaining traction with voters, expect the other GOP candidates to use this quite a bit.

* It’s not like he needed more bad news, but it appears Newt Gingrich has a second line of credit at “the high-end jewelry store Tiffany and Co. for as much as $1 million dollars.”

* The next debate for the Republican presidential candidates is in Las Vegas next month, but Mitt Romney won’t participate. He will, however, appear in six other debates between now and the end of October.

* Michele Bachmann launched her presidential campaign last week in a televised debate, but she’ll hold a formal kick-off event in Iowa early next week.

* Bill Kristol floated a rumor the other day that Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) is reconsidering whether to run for president. Yesterday, the senator knocked this down, telling reporters, “My mind has not changed on that at all.”

* In Montana, home to one of the nation’s most closely-watched Senate races, the latest survey from Public Policy Polling shows Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) with a narrow lead over Sen. John Tester (D), 47% to 45%.

* Karl Rove’s attack operation, American Crossroads, is launching radio ads in Missouri, going after Sen. Claire McCaskill (D).

* And in Texas, Michael Williams (R), the state’s former Railroad Commissioner, has dropped his Senate campaign and will instead run for the U.S. House in a newly created district. The GOP Senate field nevertheless remains crowded, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has not yet said whether he’ll run.