The writing was on the wall, but Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.) made it official last night – he’ll be retiring after seven terms in the House. Republicans targeted this race soon after Scott Brown’s upset in the state’s special Senate election, and Delahunt’s seat looks to provide them their best hope of cracking into the Massachusetts House delegation. On the GOP side, former state Treasurer Joe Malone, state Sen. Robert Hedlund and state Rep. Jeffrey Perry are mentioned as possible candidates. Democrats eyeing the seat include Norfolk District Attorney William Keating, state Sen. Robert O’Leary, and former insurance company executive Philip Edmundson. The district was a 55 percent Kerry district, but Brown carried it by 20 points. Delahunt’s exit was the second in two days for Democrats, who of course lost Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) to much different circumstances on Wednesday.

Romney in DC

Mitt Romney’s book tour continues today, with a stop at a National Press Club luncheon. The potential 2012 presidential frontrunner and former Massachusetts governor has been making the rounds here, there and everywhere, with much of the time spent trying to soften up his wooden image. During an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman earlier this week, Romney noted that during his much-publicized scrap on an airplane with rapper Sky Blu of LMFAO, the man hit him and “broke my hair.” He also disclosed that he drives a Ford Mustang. One of the criticisms of Romney has been that people can’t relate to him and that he’s a little too “perfect” for voters. Much of winning in 2012 will be relating to the masses.

Paterson trouble grows

Two days after Quinnipiac found that 61 percent of voters wanted New York Gov. David Paterson (D) to complete his term, the same polling firm finds that number has dropped to 46 percent. Paterson has dealt with a series of revelations about his role in his office intervening in a staffer’s domestic abuse case. He has said he will stick it out, but there is growing pressure for him to back off that pledge and step aside. It seems every time he reiterates he will stay on, some more details come out.