An article posted on the Knight-Ridder service earlier today refers to Blunt as the highest ranking Republican House member unscathed by the scandal surrounding last week's resignation of Rep. Mark Foley:
Some observers say Blunt could be the last man standing in the House leadership and therefore next in line for the top job, either as speaker or, if Republicans lose control of the House in midterm elections next month, as minority leader.
"His angle is to become speaker if the other guys fall," said George Connor, a political scientist at Missouri State University, which is in Blunt's district. "He is the least tainted and the most qualified."
Jeff Roe, a Missouri Republican strategist, said Blunt could survive such an atmosphere because "should there be an effort to change direction, Roy is a guy who's real credible. The guy clearly leads, clearly can count votes."
"I don't think anybody's thinking about leadership races," said Gregg Hartley, a former chief of staff to Blunt who's now a leading lobbyist. "Right now, there's a huge challenge, which is maintaining the majority. . . . (Blunt) is a strategic thinker. But he keeps himself focused on the task at hand."