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Another few days, another news dump to unload on you!  Today we have a bunch of little news links that I’m sure a bunch of you are at least mildly interested in reading.

The Maybe Special Election In Massachusetts

This is a total hypothetical situation in the sense that John Kerry might be tabbed to serve as Secretary of Defense in the Obama administration.

But for a race that is merely a possibility, this race has gotten plenty of coverage and Rep. Mike Capuano (a Democrat) appears to be interested in this race should Kerry move out of the Senate.  I’d expect Capuano to be the prohibitive favorite for the Democratic Party should he run (unless a Kennedy enters the race).  Still, it would be hard to defeat Scott Brown though Capuano might have the war chest to do it.

Race For The President 2016

Probably bad news if you are Gary Johnson, but looks like the Ron Paul supporters could get another chance at the Presidency if Ron’s son, Rand, runs in 2016.  I’m a bit weary that Rand runs so early though, he seems to be wanting to become more of a party leader in the Senate first before becoming a national figure.

Still if Rand Paul did run, he’d have the benefit of possibly gaining the support of the Ron Paul movement; which is a pretty decently-sized base to start off with.  Though I wonder if Rand’s endorsement of Mitt Romney would hurt him.  Any Paul supporters help me out with that?

Former Pennsylvania Senator and 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum has sent an email out from his non-profit organization The Patriot Voice urging Americans to buy American-made products this holiday season.

While that is fairly uncontroversial and barely a blip on the political radar, there might be something to this if we dig (okay, really dig) deep into it.  Santorum is jockeying for 2016, I think we all know that (unless Mike Huckabee gives it a go) and by sending out this email he is making his voice heard nationally again.

Google him.

Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia is highly popular in his state.  So popular that the former Governor would dominate the 2013 gubernatorial race if he decided to throw his hat in.

Well, he won’t.  But Warner’s next election, in 2014 for Senate, may not be his last as he’s often talked about as a likely Presidential candidate in 2016.  Warner, who could probably fundraise better than almost any non-Clinton candidate, doesn’t have a big national name but he could make an imprint in the race (while potentially being a VP prospect).

Yes the New York Times just wrote a nice little profile concerning the potential Presidential aspirations of Jeb Bush (brother of George W., son of George H.W.) and you have to imagine that those aspirations exist.

However, there is one piece of conversation that I left out of my “The Bush Re-Branding” piece.  While Jeb would probably be an instant favorite, the fact that his family had 12 of the past 28 years in the White House would be unsettling to some.  Americans aren’t too big into the idea of “monarchies” or “dynasties” and I could genuinely see that affecting him.  I would say he’s more than likely to run but if Jeb is going to be part of the 2016 picture it’s either Presidency or bust.

U.S. Senate 2014

Do they love campaigning down in Arkansas or what?  I’m from New Jersey and we are less than a calendar year away from a gubernatorial election and we have no declared Democratic candidates.

Yet in Arkansas which is another year away from New Jersey, the Democrats have an announced gubernatorial candidate, a candidate who is openly just waiting to enter and a host of others making very public references to the Governor’s race as well as the Attorney General and Senate race.

As stated earlier, Mark Pryor might be the most endangered Senator in 2014.  But this article takes another look at Tim Griffin (the likely challenger) and other GOP representatives in the state.  It seems to be only a matter of when, not if, when Griffin announces his entry into the race and it looks like the GOP will try hard to make sure he gets zero primary opposition.

Karen Handel, the former Susan G. Komen CEO who was at the center of a controversy for trying to defund Planned Parenthood, is allegedly considering a run for U.S. Senate in the state of Georgia.

Handel, a Republican, appears to be gunning for the seat owned by two-term Senator Saxby Chambliss.  Chambliss, who might also receive a challenge from Rep. Tom Price (as previously reported in the Digest), is certainly the most likely of all sitting Senators to be ousted in a primary.

But is Handel a serious contender?  Handel has clearly shot to more national prominence (or infamy depending on your perspective) but in previous campaigns she’s run mostly on an anti-abortion platform.  Anti-abortion might be a popular issue amongst the far right, but can a candidate really live purely off of that?

If her and Price wins, won’t Chambliss just cruise thanks to a fractured right-wing vote?

All I know is that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz HAS to try and get a top-tier contender (John Barrow or Max Cleland, maybe?) to run in Georgia because there is a pickup opportunity here.

I don’t think it’s much of a question, I fully expect Tom Harkin to run in the 2014 election cycle.  He’s a Iowan institution and he has enough money to be more than fine when it comes to fundraising.

However with Harkin, his big problem will be if Rep. Steve King, Rep. Tom Latham or even Gov. Terry Branstad makes the plunge.  King would be the most ideal to beat but Latham could prove a challenge though he might wait to see if Sen. Chuck Grassley retires in 2016.

More to come!