KU’s out. Wichita State’s out. K-State? Long gone. Mizzou was never in. Looking for a reason to live?
• “I tried my hand at Ping-Pong. Not so good.” — first lady Michelle Obamawho’s visiting China
with her daughters.
China’s president, Xi Jinping, told the first lady that he cherishes his “sound working relationship and personal friendship” with President Obama. The first lady also immediately agreed to play some Ping-Pong with a coach, often saying “nice” when the opposing player made a return. She played for about five minutes.
• “I am going to tell you I am 100 percent, unequivocally for same-sex marriage and equal rights for all Americans.” — Nate Irvin of Versailles, a 2012 graduate of the University of Central Missouri, who filed last week to run against 4th District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler.
Irvin, who worked on Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill’s 2012 re-election campaign, became the second Democrat to file against Hartzler. But Rudi Keller of the Columbia Daily Tribune, reports that the first, Jim White of Pleasant Hill, is saying he’ll withdraw to back Irvin. Not only does Irvin support same-sex marriage, he also is determined to find ways to improve the Affordable Care Act. These stands may not play well with the largely rural 4th District. Also, Hartzler has more than $400,000 in her campaign account.
• “I feel that the best course forward is not to enter the race, as doing so would greatly distract from the important work before me.” — Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones announcing he won’t run for the state Senate this year.
Jones, a Republican, had mulled the idea for several weeks. The thinking was that by remaining in the Legislature, Jones would maintain a platform that would boost his expected run for attorney general in 2016. But the final call was probably a wise one. Jones reasoned that the race would distract from the work that remains this session and could even wind up undermining a statewide run. Jones is trying to reverse Missouri history that shows that House speakers rarely have statewide political success.
• “We’ve got to strengthen them and help them with advice and backing.” — Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, on Sundayon the need to back Ukraine
with military aid in its continuing showdown with Russia.
Durbin’s remarks were backed by New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a Republican, who said the U.S. should send communications equipment and other assistance and urged the imposition of sanctions on the entire Russian financial sector. “It’s so important that we take actions to deter further Russian aggression,” she said.