As Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt prepares to announce his candidacy for U. S. Senate today, the political experts are continuing to repeat what has become of the enduring myths of the 2008 election...that the GOP primary race between Kenny Hulshof and Sarah Steelman weakened the party and enabled Jay Nixon to cruise to the governor's mansion.
Jay Nixon was going to win anyway, and it was not because of anything Sarah Steelman did.
I am sure many Republicans bigwigs will want to try to do the same thing they tried last year, to convince Mrs. Steelman that she should stay out of the U. S. Senate race, so as not to damage Roy Blunt's chances of beating the Democratic candidate, presumably Robin Carnahan in November 2010.
Some might even look back 17 years when Roy Blunt himself waged a primary campaign for governor, even though the anointed candidate was Attorney General Bill Webster. It has always been said that Blunt torpedoed Webster's candidacy with negative advertising that pointed out the attorney general's ethical lapses. These things were already being thorougly investigated by the media, primarily the Kansas City Star and St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and don't tell me Mel Carnahan would not have mentioned them if Blunt hadn't brought them up first.
Had the primary been a few days later, Blunt, at the time unstained by associations with a laundry list of lobbyists, including Jack Abramoff, would have undoubtedly overcome Webster's lead and would have faced Carnahan in the general election. And Roy Blunt probably would have been elected governor.
Instead, primarily because of this backward thinking that the party elders should anoint one person (and it goes on the Democratic side, also), weaker candidates often end up on the general election ballot, and the voters are deprived of a choice.
Hopefully, Sarah Steelman or any other Republican who thinks he or she has something to offer to Missouri will not be discouraged by a failed system that should have been pushed out the door long ago.