Wednesday, July 15, 2009
2008 saw a bitter Republican primary in the race for Governor between U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof and state Treasurer Sarah Steelman. In that race it was the establishment candidate vs. the outsider, with Rep. Hulshof having the backing of most of the state's GOP leadership. The auditor race will not be a repeat of that, as the two candidates have both been successful so far in lining up establishment support for the nomination. To date, Icet has the endorsement of 80 state representatives and 4 state senators. Today Schweich announced that he was endorsed by Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, the only Republican holding statewide office in Missouri at this time.
Both Icet and Schweich have resumes that give them credibility in their quest for the job of auditor. This is the first race that former ambassador and professor Schweich has run, while Icet is serving his 4th term in the Missouri House and was the budget chairman. Schweich has just entered the race, so he did not have to file an Missouri Ethics Committee report for last quarter, but it appears that he will have the funding to mount a well funded campaign. Since campaign donation limits were repealed in Missouri, the influence of a handful of donors could be a major wild card in this race.
The timing of Icet has been interesting so far. Just after Schweich announced that he would not be seeking the U.S. Senate seat up for election and word leaked that he was thinking about the auditor's race Icet jumped in. This gave Icet the ability to echo the call for Republican unity from a major GOP fundraiser and rode the news cycle on the auditor. Then on the day that Schweich announces he is running Icet announces that he has the endorsement of 80 state Representatives and 4 state Senators.
I fully agree with Steve Walsh: "No matter what ... this has the makings of a very interesting race."
Saturday, July 11, 2009
While I do not think it is a secret strategy coordinated among possible rivals in 2012, there is something to the idea. Right now people in elected office, be it Governors or members of Congress (and state legislatures) are faced with difficult and unpopular choices, particularly when it comes to budgets. Being out of office means not having to make tough decisions on actions and votes that can be used against a candidate for office. Certainly all of these individuals are staying involved in the political world and are still relevant so a run in 2012 would be an option.
With my wet finger in the wind, I predict that the next Republican presidential candidate will be someone not then currently serving in a government position.
The secret strategy of the Republican Party is to proffer experienced candidates with no recent political history to be used against them. Hope and change will wear a new red suit in 2012.
Additionally, a few possible 2012 contenders for the Republicans have likely been removed from the running recently. South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's presidential ambitions likely died last month. Also, Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman was tapped by the Obama administration to be their ambassador to China, so he is out of the running as well (look for him in 2016).