Afternoon Fix: Tom Ridge endorses Huntsman

at 05:16 PM ET, 09/16/2011

Jon Huntsman gets a major endorsement, Linda McMahon does not look good in head-to-heads, Scott Walker comments on the FBI raid, some voters wish they had Hillary, and Eric Cantor is getting into local politics.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge endorsed Jon Huntsman today in Manchester, New Hampshire — one of the first major endorsements for the longshot 2012 contender. Ridge said the former Utah governor and ambassador to China was “the only candidate with demonstrated success at the state, national and international levels.”

* A new Quinnipiac poll finds former WWE executive Linda McMahon “slow off the mat” — she would be pummeled by any of the Democratic contenders in the 2012 Connecticut Senate race. On the other hand, she beats ex-Rep. Chris Shays handily in the primary, even though he fares far better in head-to-heads with Democrats.

* House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is wading into a local Virginia race, endorsing independent candidate Bill Janis for Henrico County commonwealth attorney. The Republican candidate, Matthew Geary, is crying foul, saying GOP endorsements for Janis violate party rules.

* A Canadian “Moroccan roll” band that broke up six years ago is considering selling the domain “teaparty.com.” “So much damage has been done to our name by the political movement that we’re considering selling,” says Stuart Chatwood, the Tea Party’s bassist. The name, chosen in 1990, was a reference to the Beat poetry era.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) says he doesn’t know anything about the FBI raid on a former staffer’s office beyond what he’s read in the press. He told reporters its “hard to tell” whether he should be concerned about the investigation into whether county staffers did political work on taxpayers’ time while Walker was Milwaukee County executive: “We don’t know what exactly is involved.”

* Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) is sending his Capitol Hill press secretary back to Massachusetts to be chief spokesman for his reelection campaign. Colin Reed was deputy press secretary for the National Republican Senatorial Committee before moving to Brown’s staff. The 2012 staffing-up comes a few days after Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren (D) announced she would challenge Brown.

* The Supreme Court has put an execution in Texas on hold while the justices review his lawyers’ claims, bringing a little more scrutiny to the record-breaking number of executions approved by Gov. Rick Perry (R). Duane Buck’s guilt is not in dispute, but his lawyers contend that testimony from a psychologist that black people were more likely to commit violence unfairly influenced the jury in sentencing.

* Americans may be down on President Obama right now, but they are psyched about the prospect of President Hillary Clinton. A Bloomberg Poll finds 34 percent of Americans thinking we’d be better off under Clinton. Of course, 48 percent think it’d be about the same. Republicans are slightly more inclined to have buyers’ remorse about the primary candidate they had no part in picking.

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