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Afternoon Fix: Cain walks back ‘Princess Nancy’ apology

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Herman Cain regrets his regrets, Virginia goes to the GOP, Richard Carmona is running for Senate and Elizabeth Warren has a campaign manager.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* Herman Cain today again apologized for using the expression “Princess Nancy” in last night’s debate — and then appeared to take it back. “You know, I remember when Speaker Pelosi called me and the tea party people ‘AstroTurf,’” the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO said on the trail today. Asked why he apologized if he thought he was right, Cain said, "So you all would stop asking me about it.” Cain also told a crowd of Michigan supporters he’s “been through hell” but “it didn’t kill me.”

* Virginia State Sen. R. Edward Houck (D) has conceded Tuesday night’s election in close race to Republican Bryce Reeves. His defeat means control of the state Senate is split 20-20, but with Lt. Bill Bolling (R) as the tie-breaker, the GOP has effective control.

* Moody’s forecaster Mark Zandi has three ideas to soften the blow of falling home prices — extend higher conforming loan limits, apply new rules that make refinancing easier to all Fannie and Freddie borrowers, and allow investors a small tax break to encourage demand.

* A not-so-smooth moment for Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) — the Senate candidate’s campaign yesterday touted an endorsement from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that did not exist. Ryan merely endorsed Akin’s work on the budget committee, not his campaign against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D).

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona announced his bid for Senate in Arizona today, setting up a primary with former Arizona Democratic Party chairman Don Bivens for the seat being vacated by Sen. Jon Kyl (R). National Democrats courted Carmona for the race, although many were hoping Rep. Gabrielle Giffords would recover in time to run. Rep. Jeff Flake is the likely GOP nominee.

* Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has endorsed former Rep. Mark Neumann in the crowded GOP primary for retiring Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl’s seat. Neumann faces former governor Tommy Thompson and State Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald in the primary; Rep. Tammy Baldwin appears to have a clear path to the Democratic nomination.

* Texas Gov. Rick Perry is on full-court-press after his damaging “Oops” gaffe in last night’s debate. Here’s one interesting tactic: Google “Rick Perry oops” or “Rick Perry gaffe” or “Rick Perry debate,” and you might get an ad for Perry’s “Which Agency to Forget?” quiz, an attempt to spin the candidate’s forgetfulness as the product of a sprawling bureaucracy. In television appearances today, he called it a human moment: “People make mistakes.”

* Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren has hired a campaign manager — Mindy Myers, an experienced Democratic operative who has worked for Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). She’s been sending out emails rebutting an ad from the conservative group Crossroads GPS that attacks both Warren and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

* President Obama has delayed his decision on whether to approve an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas until after the 2012 election. The choice is fraught with political danger — unions back the project for the jobs it will bring, but environmentalists strongly oppose it.

THE FIX MIX:

Never do this.

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With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake

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