Welcome to Tuesday. Warmer weather is a-comin’, brothers and sisters:
By STEVE KRASKE
The Kansas City Star
• “Missourians will face a stark choice in 2016. The polices of Barack Obama and Chris Koster have resulted in less economic activity, less control over our health care and, for some of our communities, a broken educational system. I want to lead Missouri in a different direction.” — Catherine Hanaway, who announced Monday that she will be a Republican candidate for governor in 2016.
Hanaway instantly changes the political math in Missouri. Now, Koster, the two-term Democratic attorney general, will have to run a race, and run hard, to win as opposed to enjoying a two-year coronation, which no one ever really expected anyway. Hanaway is smart, able and experienced. But she also faces a lingering question: Just what are the intentions of Republican state Auditor Tom Schweich? Schweich isn’t talking much about higher office because he’s seeking re-election to his current post this year. But he has hinted that he’s also interested in running for governor in 2016, and he appears to have the backing of some of the state’s best-known Republicans, including former Sen. Jack Danforth. So the GOP has some work to do to avoid a primary — or it’ll give Koster an even bigger head start than he already enjoys.
• “Nobody on Planet Earth is intimidated by Tom Schweich.” — Missouri Democratic Party chair Roy Temple to the St. Louis Beacon describing the Republican state auditor who’s up for re-election this year.
Bold talk aside, Temple doesn’t have a candidate to run against Schweich, so the auditor appears to be scaring somebody. Democratic state Rep. Jay Swearingen of North Kansas City launched an auditor’s campaign, but recently dropped out.
• “A narcissistic loony toon.” — Hillary Clinton talking about Monica Lewinsky, according to a description from long-time Clinton family friend Diane Blair, who is now deceased. The description was contained in Blair writings housed at the University of Arkansas where she taught political science.
The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website, posted this on Sunday evening. According to the report, Blair recounted Hillary Clinton saying that her husband’s affair with Lewinsky was “a lapse, but she says to his credit he tried to break it off, tried to pull away, tried to manage someone who was clearly a 'narcissistic loony toon,’ but it was beyond control.” Hillary Clinton indicated that her husband started the affair because of the toll the deaths of his mother, her father, and their friend Vince Foster had taken on him while “the ugly forces started making up hateful things about them, pounding on them.” If true, it sounds like the former first lady was looking hard for ways to justify what happened.
• “It is clear that Roberts’ campaign and Senator Roberts himself have engaged in a series of actions and issued statements designed to mislead the media and mislead all Kansans about where he actually lives. The Virginian will soon learn that Kansans aren’t that easy to fool and don’t appreciate being insulted.” — the campaign of Milton Wolf in a media statement Monday. The comments refer to a weekend story on The Buzz and in The New York Times that raised questions about Roberts’ Kansas residency.
Roberts handed an issue to Wolf this weekend, which Roberts knew was coming the second Wolf filed for his U.S. Senate seat last year. The question of whether Roberts actually lives in Kansas (he doesn’t) or owns property in the state (he does) has hovered around the congressional veteran for years. It’s now clear that Wolf’s entry into the race caused Roberts to arrange rental payments to two of his long-time supporters in Dodge City as a way to gloss over this issue. Roberts so far isn’t showing any signs of major vulnerability to Wolf, who’s an upstart. But questions about residency is a potentially potent place to begin for any tea party challenger.