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Afternoon Fix: George Allen apologizes for ‘macaca’

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George Allen apologizes, Sarah Palin gets her history wrong, Newt Gingrich is on vacation and Jon Huntsman is close to making an announcement.

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EARLIER ON THE FIX:

Chris Christie, the helicopter ride and 2012

Redistricting battles hit a fever pitch

What John Edwards meant

Mixed signals everywhere on President Obama’s reelection prospects

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* As he tries to win back the Senate seat he lost in 2006, George Allen apologized today for the “macaca” incident that defined that campaign. “You don’t brood over mistakes. You learn from them and you improve,” he told conservatives at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington. “And during my last campaign, I never should have singled out that young man working for my opponent, calling him a name. He was just doing his job. I was wrong to do that to him, and it diverted our campaign away from the real issues that families care about.”

* Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin offered a novel take on the famous ride of Paul Revere during her trip to Boston yesterday: “He who warned the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms by ringing those bells and making sure as he’s riding his horse through town, to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure, and we we’re going to be free and we were going to be armed.” For history’s sake: Revere rode to warn allies that British troops were headed to Lexington and Concord. Later in life, Revere became a bellmaker, but no bells were involved in the secretive ride.

* Newt Gingrich is not attending this weekend’s Faith and Freedom conference because he’s on vacation with his family, a commitment his staff says was made long ago. It’s not the best timing for the former House speaker, who needs all the help he can get in repairing relations with conservative activists. “Everyone needs a break,” said spokesman Rick Tyler.

* Rep. Danny Rehberg (R-Mont.) is seeking a settlement in a year-old lawsuit against his hometown over the handling of a wildfire on his property. He claims firefighters were pulled from the scene too quickly. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) called it a “frivolous lawsuit” to get taxpayer money. The case raised some uncomfortable questions for Rehberg last year, although he made clear that he did not blame the firefighters themselves.

* The National Republican Congressional Committee is demanding that New Hampshire’s WMUR pull a Progressive Change Campaign Committee ad that claims Republicans, in particular Rep. Charlie Bass (R-N.H.), want to “end Medicare.” The NRCC cites a recent Politifact analysis that pronounced the assertion “highly misleading.” Liberals, naturally, argue that the claim is accurate.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* Tim Pawlenty is planning a major speech unveiling his economic policy next week, and he’ll deliver it from Chicago — President Obama’s hometown and 2012 headquarters. He will “offer a specific plan for boosting the economy and creating jobs,” an aide told news outlets.

* Jon Huntsman will not be attending the June 13th New Hampshire debate, but he’s planning to make his presidential announcement around the same time. “We've discussed this over the past week as a family, and we hope there will be more on that in the next week or two,” the former ambassador to China said today.

* Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) has canceled a planned speech at the Wisconsin state Democratic convention tonight. Weiner didn’t give a reason for the schedule change, but you can probably figure that one out for yourself. If not, here’s a hint: “He decided to spend the weekend with his wife,” according to Wisconsin state party Chairman Mike Tate.

* Nevada Rep. Joe Heck (R) said today that calling Social Security a ”pyramid scheme” that isn't working was a mistake. He actually made the comment a month ago at a town hall meeting (and got a cold reception from the audience), but a video was just distributed by the state Democratic party.

THE FIX MIX:

Want a pet meerkat? Wear toenail polish.

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With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake

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