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San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was irritable during a recent interview about the city's budget deficit, telling a reporter he was "disappointed" in the line of questioning.

It was his first sit-down with the press since he last month abruptly and without explanation dropped out of the race to be California's next governor.

In the Thursday interview, Newsom criticized CBS 5 political reporter Hank Plante, who asked about the mayor's recent travel schedule and unusual behavior since ending his political bid.

Newsom wanted to talk about San Francisco's $522 million budget deficit but ended up playing defense against Plante's questions. As he left the interview while the cameras were still rolling, he told Plante "off the record," he was disappointed.

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Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, a candidate for the Republican nomination to run against Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), may have just gotten herself in trouble with the right -- saying that she probably would have voted to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

Dave Weigel reports:

At a breakfast with reporters this morning, California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina responded to a question about whether she would filibuster Obama nominees by saying that "elections have consequences," but that she'd look at the nominees' qualifications.

"I did not closely follow the Sonia Sotomayor nomination," said Fiorina. "I was battling breast cancer. But I probably would have voted for Sotomayor. She seemed qualified."


Look for state Rep. Chuck DeVore, Fiorina's opponent in the Republican primary, to use this against her in his efforts to be the hard-line conservative option.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), a champion of the right wing and a key organizer of the recent Capitol Tea Party, wonders why Democrats attack her so much -- after all, decades ago she was a Democrat herself!

Bachmann told the St. Cloud Times:

In being forceful and fighting for the positions that I'm standing for, I obviously must pose a threat for liberals advancing their agenda. I say that because I grew up a Democrat in a Democrat family. My husband and I both worked on Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign. The first time I ever came to Washington was to dance at Walter Mondale's inaugural ball. It was a thrill for my husband and me, and we were both happy to work on behalf of Walter Mondale and Jimmy Carter. We really believed in them when we were in college. So in some ways I don't understand why the Democratic Party would be opposed to me, because I stand for the same values that my parents stood for when we were Democrats.

Mitch McConnell is a good listener. At least that's what he told CNN's John King this weekend.

In an interview on State Of The Union Sunday, McConnell said the Republican goal of blocking Democratic-led health care reform in the Senate is nothing more than the GOP doing what they're told.

"We don't often ignore the wishes of the American people," McConnell said. "They are literally screaming, many of them, 'please don't pass this.'"

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Yesterday on ABC News's This Week, there was an exchange between Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and host George Stephanopoulos about Coburn's role as an "intermediary" between Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) and Doug Hampton, the man with whose wife the Nevada senator had an affair. And it's hard to know what to make of it.

From the transcript:

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The 2010 primaries are just around the corner, and the big guns are coming out. For his part, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) will be making an issue of Sen. Arlen Specter's (D-PA) ties to vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin in the 2008 campaign.



The new attack comes as Palin makes media rounds in support of her new book, Going Rogue. Polls indicate that the former Alaska governor is one of the most polarizing political figures in the country.

Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS), a Blue Dog Democrat from a key swing seat, will not be running for re-election in 2010, the Kansas City Star reports.

Moore was first elected in 1998, and faced close re-elections in 2000 and 2002, before getting more and more comfortable margins in the last three elections. The district voted twice for George W. Bush by strong margins -- 53%-42% in 2000, and 55%-44% in 2004 -- but it swung to Barack Obama by 51%-48% in 2008.

A Republican source tells us that the seat could be a strong pickup opportunity for them. One potential GOP candidate would be former state Sen. Nick Jordan, the 2008 nominee, who lost that year by a 56%-40% margin. Jordan is conservative, but is reputed to be in touch with the state party's moderate wing and could provide a unifying force in an open-seat race.

A Democratic source was more optimistic, citing the district's base in the Kansas City suburbs and parts of the liberal college town of Lawrence. "We think this is a strong seat for us," the source said. "Dennis Moore's going to be a hard act to follow for any candidate, but we know what it takes to win in this seat, and demographics are certainly in our favor."

WaPo: Rise In Stock Ownership Among Lawmakers Brings Ethics Concerns The Washington Post reports on the increasing trend of lawmakers' private investment portfolios creating an appearance of conflict on various issues, with the problem happening on both sides of the aisle: "This juxtaposition of investments and policy has become more common as stock ownership has soared on Capitol Hill over the past two decades. The investments increasingly put lawmakers in the position of voting or advocating on matters that could affect their personal wealth, whether the lawmakers realize it or not."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will deliver remarks at 11:40 a.m. ET, at an event highlighting several initiatives designed to boost science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. He will have lunch with Vice President Biden at 12:35 p.m. ET, and meet with the Cabinet at 1:45 p.m. ET. He will meet at 4:50 p.m. ET with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. At 5:50 p.m. ET, he will deliver remarks and present the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.

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