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Afternoon Fix: Sarah Palin goes to Fox News

at 05:43 PM ET, 06/01/2011

Sarah Palin went to Fox News, Ciro Rodriguez wants his House seat back, Tim Pawlenty is staffing up in New Hampshire, and CNN finds Americans giving a thumbs-down to the Ryan plan.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* Sarah Palin met with executives at Fox News in New York today, a not-exactly-historic stop on her tour of historic American sites. (The former Alaska governor was at Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty earlier in the day.) Palin is a paid contributor for the network; she called them “my bosses.” There’s been speculation about whether Palin’s contract with the network will be suspended as she contemplates a presidential campaign. “Right now there is no change in her status with FOX News," said executive vice president of programming Bill Shine in a statement after the meeting.

* Former Rhode Island governor Don Carcieri (R) will not run against Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D) next year, WRNI reported. State GOP chairman Ken McKay told the news organization, “I haven’t seen him doing the things I think he would be doing if he was running.”Carcieri is well-known and well-funded, but he’s also 68 years old and already spent two terms in the governor’s office. There’s only one Republican in the race so far, software company founder Barry Hinckley.

* A new CNN poll finds that a majority of Americans are not into the Medicare plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Fifty-eight percent of respondent oppose the GOP plan, based on what they have heard about it. Thirty-five percent support it. Opposition is highest among senior citizens, at 74 percent. Even 54 percent of Republicans don’t like the proposal.

* Florida state Senate President Mike Haridopolos today said Ryan’s plan “must be amended” to give seniors more protection, after dodging questions about the proposal yesterday. Haridopolos, who is running for Senate, was kicked off a conservative radio show Tuesday for refusing to say how he would vote on Ryan’s budget. A spokesman today clarified his stance, saying in a statement, “No, Sen Haridopolos would not vote for the plan as currently written."

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty is staffing up in New Hampshire. Sarah Crawford Stewart, a veteran operative who worked for Sen. John McCain (R) in both 2000 and 2008, will be his state campaign director. Peter Towey will be the political director. Pawlenty has also hired four field representatives and an office manager, giving him the biggest staff of any 2012 candidate in the state.

* The Club for Growth is urging Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) to launch a primary challenge against Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) next year. “Senator Hatch deserves recognition for his lengthy service to our country, and his leadership on some important issues,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola in a statement. But, he adds, “[f]iscal conservatives can do better. If Congressman Chaffetz decides to run for the U.S. Senate, he will have the full support of the Club for Growth PAC and our 55,000 members.” The Salt Lake Tribune reported yesterday that Chaffetz is in the race.

* Former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-Texas) is running again after losing his seat to businessman Francisco Canseco (R) last fall. Rodriguez won the seat in an 2006 special election, after the Supreme Court found that new lines drawn in 2003 violated the Voting Rights Act. Other Democrats have expressed interest in the seat, including state Rep. Joaquin Castro, state Rep. Pete Gallego, and state Sen. Carlos Uresti.

* Saying that “the 2012 election cycle will not be another 2010,” the National Republican Congressional Committee has launched its incumbent protection Patriot Program. Ten members expected to face tough re-election races are getting help building theri campaigns: Reps. Lou Barletta, Mike Fitzpatrick and Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania, Charlie Bass and Frank Guinta of New Hampshire, Canseco in Texas, Sean Duffy of Wisconsin, Joe Heck of Nevada, Tom Latham in Iowa, and Allen West of Florida. Seven are freshmen, two are members who came back after losing their seats, and one is a veteran endangered by redistricting.

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