Monday’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:

* Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) strongly hinted about his presidential plans to the Des Moines Register, telling Iowa’s largest paper, “I’m getting more and more comfortable every day that this is what I’ve been called to do. This is what America needs.”

* In a very big surprise, Florida state Senate President Mike Haridopolos, generally considered the Republican frontrunner in the 2012 U.S. Senate race, announced this morning that he’s ending his campaign. Haridopolos, plagued by ethics controversies, led all candidates in second-quarter fundraising.

* Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich reported last week that his campaign is more than $1 million in debt. Most of the problem is the result of the disgraced former House Speaker traveling to campaign events on private jets.

* Late on Friday, Rep. Dale Kildee (D-Mich.) announced he will retire at the end of this Congress. He is currently in his 18th and final term in the chamber.

* Despite previous reluctance, Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann is poised to sign the right-wing “Cut, Cap, and Balance” pledge, much to the delight of of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who considers the pledge a litmus test for his possible support.

* Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who inexplicably continues to consider another presidential race, told CNN yesterday he wants his party “to get the heck out of people’s bedrooms,” at least at the federal level. At the state level, GOP interest in people’s bedrooms is fine with Giuliani.

* The progressive Americans United for Change is launching a new ad in Nevada, going after appointed Sen. Dean Heller (R) for voting to privatize Medicare twice this year — once as a House member and again as a senator.

* And as Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) continues to recover, her office continues to receive contributions in the event she’s able to seek re-election. In the second quarter, Giffords raised more than $280,000, despite making no appeals.

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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.