Wisconsin Democrats are optimistic, Jon Huntsman says it was a compliment, and Doug Lamborn wishes he’d said “quagmire.”

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* Wisconsin Democrats say that internal polling shows them leading in three out of six recall elections against state Senate Republicans and tied in the other three. The two Democratic state senators left defending their seats, according to party chairman Mike Tate, are “in very very strong shape.”

* Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman tried to explain his comment on Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) making for “good photography” as a positive. “I was trying to compliment Rep. Bachmann,” the 2012 candidate said on Fox News today. “Calling somebody photogenic — I wish we were all that photogenic. She’s an elected official, she’s doing a great job and I have high regard.”

* Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) apologized for comparing President Obama to a “tar baby” in a radio interview last week. The congressman was explaining why he would not vote for a deal to raise the debt ceiling, saying, “I don’t want to even have to be associated with him [the President]. It is like touching a tar baby and you get it — you’re stuck — and you’re part of the problem now.” Following protests, Lamborn said he should have used the word “quagmire.”

* A Houston lobbyist has formed two new super PACs to support Rick Perry, should the Texas governor run for president — the Jobs for Vets Fund and Veterans for Rick Perry. Dan Shelley, an Air Force veteran and ex-lawmaker who worked for both Perry and former president George W. Bush, says his focus is on Iowa and South Carolina.

* Rep. Mike Doyle (D) says he didn’t mean to describe tea party Republicans as “terrorists” in a closed-door meeting of House Republicans on Monday. “Had I simply said ‘hostage-taker,’ there wouldn't be this reaction. ... I wasn't talking about the Tea Party. I was talking about the tactic.” Doyle said Biden did not use the word “terrorist” — as Biden himself said last night. “I did not use the terrorism word,” the vice president said on CBS’ Evening News. “ I just let them vent.”


* House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will sit down for an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell tomorrow. Presumably they will have a lot to talk about, now that Obama has a signed the debt-ceiling deal that Pelosi said came with a side of “Satan fries.”

* Former Florida GOP state Sen. Nancy Argenziano is running as a Democrat against freshman Rep. Steve Southerland (R) next year, saying “the Republican Party has left me” and now its “interests lie in the profiteering of America and the sacking of the middle class.” This isn’t Argenziano’s first break with the party; she supported Democrat Alex Sink in last year’s gubernatorial election.

* Washington state Rep. Marko Liias (D) is running for the House seat being vacated by Rep. Jay Inslee (D), who is hoping to become governor. State Rep. Roger Goodman and former state Rep. Laura Ruderman are already in the Democratic primary. Redistricting could change the borders, but Inslee’s seat will probably stay Democratic.

* Mitt Romney, who has been keeping a pretty low profile, will pick up the pace in August. The former Massachusetts governor plans to hold seven town hall events in New Hampshire this month and has committed to three debates along with some major speeches in September. Most of Romney’s trips so far have been focused on fundraising rather than voter outreach.

* Herman Cain is headed to Indiana on August 15th, the first 2012 candidate to accept an invitation from Indiana Republican Chairman Eric Holcomb. The former Godfathers’ Pizza CEO will speak at a dinner hosted by the state GOP; the event is free and open to the public.


This seems fun and sort of unsafe.

With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake