"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Missouri Record: “There’s Something About Sarah” or “Forgetting Sarah Steelman”

May 14th, 2009 by mopns · No Comments

By Patrick Tuohey

Sarah Steelman and her campaign are faulted for ensuring that Rep. Kenny Hulshof would lose.  It was a nasty race, it is said, and Hulshof was so damaged that he could not win.  I am not privy to the polling data for either the Steelman of Hulshof campaigns, but this appears to me to be a dubious claim.

As we look ahead to 2010, Republicans need to realize neither the Party nor any individual office-holder have a special claim to the US Senate.  The Party is not made stronger by stifling its various factions.  Primaries serve an important fuction in vetting candidates in the bright lights of 24-hour campaigns.  In fact, Democrats should be concerned that they will not have this opportunity with Robin Carnahan until it is too late. Read more…

Related:

Political Wire: Carnahan Holds Edge in Missouri Senate Race  “It appears as if Steelman may be the tougher foe with a stronger profile than Blunt and the potential to run a fresh outsider candidacy that Blunt cannot offer.”

TPM: Poll: Democrat Leads For 2010 Missouri Senate Race, In GOP-Held Seat  “The consummate political insider, Blunt is weighed down by his long history of voting the Republican Party line, his numerous votes to give himself pay raises while opposing a minimum wage increase, and his leading support for the TARP bailout.”

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Tags: Carnahans' · Rep. Roy Blunt · Sarah Steelman

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  • 1 Paul Ground // May 14, 2009 at 11:48 am

    I’ve had significant involvement in Missouri Republican politics for more than a quarter century. I know both of the candidates who ran for Governor in 2008 personally, and like both.

    The problem, it seems to me, is this. There is a certain feeling among leading Missouri Republicans that, as solons of the party, they should dictate nominations. So, for example, deals get made. Ken Hulshof doesn’t run for Governor in 2004; party leaders promise him the “next shot.” When 2008 rolls around, these same leaders, having made this deal for the benefit of Matt Blunt, feel bound by their word, so they do their best to make sure that the Congressman wins the nomination. Sarah, a statewide office holder, is ignored by the party, and even to some extent ostracized for having the audacity not to submit to the authority of party leaders. So, being a fighter, she does what underdog campaigns often do: she attacks. When, ultimately, Hulshof wins the nomination but loses the election, Mrs. Steelman becomes a handy scapegoat for leadership which, after all, has no intention to give up its authority and prerogatives.

    For those of you who may not have been involved for quite so long, or whose memories are shorter, let me share with you an ironic historical precedent. In 1992, Republicans had held the Governor’s office for 12 straight years, and 16 of the last twenty. We had a Republican Secretary of State, a Republican Attorney General, and a Republican Treasurer. Because John Ashcroft couldn’t run, the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, and the Treasurer, all ran. Most of the party machinery supported Attorney General Bill Webster. Consequently, the Secretary of State, running second, ran some rather aggressive adds in the primary suggesting that Webster had used the Second Injury Fund in Workers Compensation to reward political allies in a corrupt manner.

    When Webster won the nomination but lost in the fall, some Webster supporters blamed his loss, his subsequent indictment, and his guilty plea on the campaign run by the Secretary of State in the primary. That was ludicrous: the misdeeds that undid Bill Webster were, sadly, of Bill’s own doing.

    The irony is that the Secretary of State who was unfairly blamed then was none other than Congressman Roy Blunt.

  • 2 Jim Byrne // May 18, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Thanks for the history lesson Paul.

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