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Off to the races: Defending the Bush brand

Jeb Bush on Meet the Press, per NBC’s Carrie Dann: "In (my father's) four years as president a lot of amazing accomplishments took place. So my guess is that history will be kind to my brother, the further out you get from this and the more people compare his tenure to what's going on now."

On FOX: "I don't think there's any Bush baggage at all. I love my brother, I'm proud of his accomplishments. I love my dad. I am proud to be a Bush."

Paul Ryan called a 2016 bid “more realistic” after running as VP in 2012. And he seemed lukewarm to the idea of running for speaker: “I have no plans to be in House elected leadership. If I wanted to be in elected leadership like speaker, I would have run for these jobs years ago. I’ve always believed the better place for me is in policy leadership like being a chairman.”

Apparently Hillary Clinton likes hot chili peppers.

KENTUCKY: “Matt Bevin, who may challenge Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), is distancing himself from improper activities that took place at an investment company where he worked a decade ago,” The Hill writes. “Bevin, a New Hampshire native, was virtually unknown in Kentucky political circles until a few weeks ago when he began reaching out to Tea Party leaders to explore a race against McConnell in the 2014 Republican primary.”

The Louisville Courier-Journal reported last Wednesday that Ashley Judd is going to announce her decision on a Senate bid by May 4, the date of the Kentucky Derby.

NEW YORK: New York mayoral candidate Christine Quinn hit all five boroughs over the weekend.

Some of the luster is wearing off Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY). The New York Daily News: “State Senate Republicans say Gov. Cuomo’s budget could mean millions in cuts for women’s programs. The proposed cuts would trim an array of health programs by a combined 10% and require them to seek their funding through a competitive process.”

“Gov. Cuomo's favorability rating has dropped to its lowest-ever level since he took office — but he's still popular enough to make mere political mortals green with envy, a new poll shows,” the New York Daily News writes. “The number of Siena poll respondents who said they have positive feelings about the governor has shown a small but steady decline from 72% in December to 71% in January, 67% in February and 64% in the March poll released Monday. Cuomo hit his all-time high favorability rating in the February 2011 Siena survey with a stunning 77%. When it comes to whether voters say they'd give Cuomo a second term, 54% in the March poll say they would. Although robust, that's Cuomo's weakest Siena showing yet on the question: In December, 62% of Siena respondents said they'd re-elect him.”