Inside the Beltway: Ready to rumble in the Granite State

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Wearing a sincere grin and maybe a carefully ironed plaid shirt, Scott Brown will announce his intent to run for the U.S. Senate seat in New Hampshire at dusk on Thursday. He’s already cultivating the image of a tough politician with a heart of gold, and plans a very public declaration at a seaside inn in historic Portsmouth. New Hampshire Democrats have been laying in wait for some time for this moment to come. They relish it, in fact, and have already scheduled a press conference with state House Speaker Terie Norelli and other officials to “outline why Scott Brown is wrong for New Hampshire.”

Mr. Brown is poised for combat as well, and has some reinforcements handy. He’ll appear with Sen. Rand Paul at a private Republican fundraiser in nearby Hampton Falls on Friday. The Kentucky Republican has as much on his agenda as Mr. Brown.


SEE ALSO: It’s official: Scott Brown launches N.H. Senate bid to replace Shaheen


Looming large on Saturday: Citizens United and Americans for Prosperity Foundation are staging a bodacious grassroots “Freedom Summit” for the locals in bustling Manchester, complete with a cast of heavyweight talent. Joining Mr. Paul on the podium: Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and the ever-ready Donald Trump, who cordially points out that this is his second visit to New Hampshire this year.

MCCAINERIE

“My hero Teddy Roosevelt used to say talk softly and carry a big stick. What you’re doing is talking strongly and carrying a very small stick. In fact, a twig.”

— Sen. John McCain to Secretary of State John Kerry, during a Senate Foreign Relations hearing on Tuesday.

VOTERS SAMPLE THE APPETIZER TRAY

Another day, another poll indicating that at this point, more than two years from the presidential election, Democrats would vote for Hillary Clinton for president while Republicans are lingering wide-eyed over their many choices. Which is not a bad thing.

A survey by Suffolk University of likely Iowa voters finds that 63 percent of Democratic caucus-goers would vote for the former secretary of state, while 12 percent chose Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and 10 percent back Vice President Joe Biden. But on to the GOP array, which has a little something for everybody.

The survey found that likely Republican voters’ favorite was Mike Huckabee, who garnered at 11 percent of the vote. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush took 10 percent each, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ben Carson each won 9 percent, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 7 percent. Six others were tied with 6 percent each: Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sarah Palin, Condoleezza Rice and Rick Santorum.

COLLATERAL DAMAGE

OK, so Comcast wants to buy out Time Warner Cable for $45 million. Should anyone get excited about this? Yes, says a certain Republican from Utah. Liberal bias lurks.

“A complicating factor arises given that Comcast owns NBC Universal,” warns Sen. Mike Lee. “Considering the significant share of the video and Internet market that the new Comcast would have, and considering the well-known political leanings of NBC, I’ve heard concerns that Comcast might have the incentive and the ability to discriminate against certain political content, including, for example, conservative political content.”

MONEY TALKS

Behold, it’s a mighty fat wallet for the Republican National Committee, which raised $25.2 million in the first quarter of 2014, bringing the total so far this cycle to $105.9 million, with a tidy $12.3 million cash on hand.

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