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:

* The latest national Fox News poll shows Rick Perry leading the Republican presidential field with 26% support, followed by Mitt Romney with 18%. No other candidate is in double digits, and this is the fifth national poll in the last two weeks that shows Perry as the frontrunner.

* Perry’s book, “Fed Up!” published last year, continues to be a goldmine for his detractors. The Texas governor conceded, “I wouldn’t have written that book if I was going to run for the presidency of the United States.”

* Speaking of Perry, he also met at some length with uncommitted social and evangelical conservatives, and attendees asked about whether there might be anything embarrassing in his personal life would emerge during the campaign. “I can assure you that there is nothing in my life that will embarrass you if you decide to support me for president,” Perry replied.

* Jon Huntsman’s struggling campaign fired its campaign manager in New Hampshire yesterday, replacing him with Tim Pawlenty’s former state director.

* And speaking of New Hampshire, Jack Kimball’s tumultuous reign as head of the state Republican Party ended last night when he resigned. His voluntary departure came just minutes before he was to be fired by the state GOP’s executive committee.

* Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is trying to raise money off the fact that Rachel Maddow criticized his condemnation of Medicare and Social Security.

* Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has categorically ruled out a presidential campaign. Asked this week about being the GOP nominee’s running mate, he replied, “Who knows? Like I said, I just cross bridges when I get to them.”

* The Republican establishment is moving quickly to rally behind Pete Hoekstra’s Senate campaign in Michigan, and yesterday he picked up endorsements from Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, and Iowa Rep. Steve King.

* And with two months to go before Election Day, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) now leads state Senate Pres. David Williams (R), 54% to 25%. Expect the Republican Party and its allies to end all investments in this race very soon.