Some afternoon reading:South Dakota: More positive recovery news from Senator Tim Johnson:
"In talking to his physicians, we really feel optimistic and confident that he is going to make a full recovery," says Brendan Johnson, 31, one of the senator's three children and a lawyer in Sioux Falls. "It is something that takes time. Unfortunately, we don't have any type of exact timetable. What we do know from the therapists and physicians working with him at GW is that he is making much faster progress than anyone anticipated." ...Keep watching and hoping for the best.
An MRI showed that the speech center of his brain is undamaged. And an angiogram showed that the surgery successfully repaired the original problem, called an arteriovenous malformation. ...
Amusing anecdotes from the hospital, hot off the BlackBerry, are savored and laughed about around the office: Watching football playoffs, the senator groaned when his wife kept referring to the Chicago Bears as the Chicago Cubs. He rolled his eyes when she asked why he wasn't rooting for the Patriots over the Colts, since South Dakota native Adam Vinatieri is the place kicker. Did she not know that Vinatieri had signed with the Colts!?
Nebraska: The Hill reports on more speculation about a Chuck Hagel retirement:
As of his third-quarter filing, Hagel had the least cash on hand of the 33 senators up for reelection in 2008. ...Nebraska is a tough state, but Ben Nelson has shown that it is winnable, and a Hagel retirement would make it all-the-more competitive, and therefore more attractive to potential Democratic candidates. Let's hope Hagel's fundraising continues to languish.
The senator with the second-least cash after the third quarter, Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.), is thus far the only one to announce he will not run again. ...
At the same time, he [Hagel] has left open the possibility that he would retire, whether or not he would seek the presidency. Last week, he rebuffed a report that said he has assured the National Republican Senatorial Committee that he will seek reelection.
Minnesota: Coincidence or not? One of the guests on the installment of the "Al Franken Show" in which Franken announced his mid-February departure: DSCC Chair Chuck Schumer.