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:

* Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) announced this morning he will not be a candidate for any public office in 2012. Feingold was considered the top Democratic candidate for the open U.S. Senate seat in Wisconsin, and the top Dem challenger in a potential recall election against Gov. Scott Walker (R).

* Elizabeth Warren took the next step towards a U.S. Senate campaign in Massachusetts, yesterday launching an exploratory committee. The consumer advocate and Harvard professor is currently on a “listening tour” of the state.

* Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann claimed yesterday she worked for the IRS as a tax attorney as some kind of anti-tax mole. “The first rule of war is ‘know your enemy,'” she said. This line contradicts everything Bachmann has previously said about her IRS career.

* Speaking of Bachmann, she’ also repeatedly claimed to “postdoctorate degree” and went by “Dr. Michele Bachmann” for a while. In reality, as Mother Jones noted, she “never obtained nor sought the advanced degree that’s a prerequisite for the title.”

* In Ohio, Public Policy Polling shows President Obama’s approval rating sinking, but he still leads all of his Republican challengers by margins ranging from two points (vs. Romney) to 13 points (vs. Palin).

* And speaking of Ohio, PPP also found Gov. John Kasich’s (R) approval rating in his own state down to 36%. Only Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) is less popular among the nation’s governors.

* Confirming what has long appeared obvious, Tommy Thompson, the former governor, Bush administration official, and failed presidential candidate, is moving forward with plans to run for the Senate in Wisconsin next year.

* After posing with a porn star at a pantless bar, Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R), ostensibly a leading gubernatorial candidate next year, is struggling to hold onto his party’s support.

* And GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman, responding to rival Rick Perry’s comments yesterday, proudly proclaimed, “To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” If Huntsman thinks this will earn him Republican votes, he really is crazy.