Afternoon Fix: New Hampshire governor to reveal future plans tomorrow

at 06:15 PM ET, 09/14/2011

John Lynch is going to reveal his future plans, bad news for Dick Lugar, some new light on the Herman Cain campaign turmoil and Jon Huntsman thought some of the debate rhetoric was “scary.”

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch (D) will “discuss his future plans” at a Manchester school tomorrow, his office says. The popular governor is on his fourth two-year term; the conventional wisdom is that he say he’s retiring next year. If Lynch calls it quits, the gubernatorial race will instantly become one of the most likely Republican pickups in the country. Former state senator Maggie Hassan (D) and 2010 GOP Senate candidate Ovide Lamontagne  (R) are both expected to run.

* Texas Gov. Rick Perry spoke at the Jerry Falwell-founded Liberty University today, casting himself decisively as the anti-intellectual candidate. The 2012 candidate joked that he finished “in the top 10 of my graduating class — of 13” in high school, and ended up in the Air Force because he couldn’t get into veterinary school: “Four semesters of organic chemistry made a pilot out of me.”

* An ex-staffer to presidential candidate Herman Cain is shedding some light on turmoil in the former Godfathers’ Pizza CEO’s campaign. Kevin Hall, Cain’s former Iowa straw poll coordinator, testified before an Iowa judge that staffers tried to obscure the role of an openly gay man in the campaign, fearing a backlash from social conservatives. Hall was applying for unemployment benefits.

* At a high school in New Hampshire today, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman criticized his fellow Republican presidential contenders for “scary” rhetoric in Monday’s debate. One of Huntsman’s staffers said Tuesday that cheers in the crowd for executions and letting the uninsured die made her “sick and sad.”

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is hosting a slim fundraiser on Friday — a breakfast reception at the home of Jenny Craig, “featuring Jenny’s special oatmeal pancakes.” Sounds healthy! But Waffle House CEO Joe Rogers and the founders of Panda Express are Romney backers too, so he’s probably going to binge later.

* Some good news for Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) — state Sen. Mike Delph (R) is not running for Senate. That leaves Mourdock as the lone challenger to Sen. Richard Lugar (R) in the GOP primary. Mourdock had openly worried that he and Delph would split the conservative vote. Of course, that means it’s bad news for Lugar.

* State Rep. Gary McDowell (D) has announced his campaign against Rep. Dan Benishek (R) in Michigan’s 1st congressional district. McDowell ran unsuccessfully against Benishek in 2010, but he argues that he has a better chance now thanks to the freshman Republican’s record in Congress. Redistricting has made Benishek a little safer in the seat formerly held by retired Rep. Bart Stupak (D).

* Set your Tivo: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) will appear on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno on Friday night. We’ll find out if Bachmann was right when she said, “I am a person who loves humor. I have a great sense of humor.”

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