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Off to the races: Menino out after 20 years

Mitt Romney was on Dennis Miller’s radio show. He said, “I have to admit, being able to go back to our own life and going to the grocery store and shopping on my own is kind of nice to be by myself without a bunch of people hanging around with me. I like the life of being an American citizen. It’s good to live a normal life again.” And: “I wouldn’t have gotten into this if I thought things were going swimmingly… That’s the frustration with losing — which is I don’t have the influence I obviously could have had [if] I won that election.”

And he showed some of the old Romney cadence when talking about his grandchildren and his 44th wedding anniversary. Here’s how Politico writes it: “Forty-four great years. Amazingly, 21 grandchildren right now. I think it’s 21, it could be 22,” Romney said laughing. “But it’s been very unusual.”

KENTUCKY: At all costs… “Kentucky is the Bluegrass State, but by the time Mitch McConnell is done with his reelection campaign, it may be better known for scorched earth,” Politico writes. “The top Senate Republican is preparing to wage a ruthless campaign to hang on to his job. He’s already on the air with nearly $200,000 in TV and radio ads, is assembling streams of data to target voters with tailor-made messages, and has quietly moved to lock down support from virtually every state GOP legislator. He says he’ll use ‘every penny’ of a war chest certain to exceed the $21 million he spent in 2008.”

National Journal notes that despite Ashley Judd not running, McConnell still has reason to worry: “Still, McConnell has reason to be wary. Polls show he is vulnerable. A Louisville Courier-Journal poll showed that just 17 percent of Kentucky voters planned to support McConnell for another term. McConnell's own campaign released a poll earlier this year that showed him leading the actress by only 4 points, something that Democrats in Washington have seized on. They also point to advertising run on behalf of the Kentucky Republican against Judd as evidence that McConnell has reason to be nervous.”

MASSACHUSETTS: For the first time in 20 years, Boston will get a new mayor. “The Urban Mechanic” “Mayor Thomas M. Menino will announce at a Faneuil Hall event Thursday after­noon that he will not seek a sixth term in office, say officials familiar with his decision,” the Boston Globe reports, adding, “Starting as acting mayor on July 12, 1993, Menino took ­office as a relatively unknown 50-year-old city councilor from Hyde Park. Candidates vying for the mayor’s post dismissed Menino as a caretaker keeping the seat warm until the November election. Menino proved them wrong, maximizing the power of the ­office to run as an incumbent and win a resounding victory. He will leave City Hall ­early next year at age 71, the only mayor a generation of ­Bostonians has known, the man who guided the city ­into the new millennium and set its course for decades to come. Rivals often underestimated Menino because of his clumsy speech and everyman appearance, but he proved to be the shrewdest politician of his generation.”

Mark your calendars: “On April 17, candidates can apply for nomination papers, the first step in getting their name on the ballot for the preliminary election, scheduled for Sept. 24. The top two vote-getters will compete in the Nov. 5 final election.”

In the Senate race, “US Representatives Edward J. Markey and Stephen F. Lynch tangled over Lynch’s vote against President Obama’s health care law in a televised debate tonight between the two contenders for the Democratic nomination in the special election race for US Senate,” the Boston Globe writes.