Here comes Wednesday, and here comes spring, baby.
• “Are we besties for the rest of our lives? No.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill talking about her relationship with fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton.
McCaskill, speaking to the Post-Dispatch’s editorial board, insisted that her relationship with Hillary Clinton is “fine” after a tense period leading up to the 2008 election. That year, Clinton was one of the first Democrats to sign on with Barack Obama. On top of that, the senator famously said in 2006 on “Meet the Press” that Bill Clinton had been a great leader, “b ut I don’t want my daughter near him.” That didn’t sit too well with the former first lady.
• “It is the first time since 1878 Democrats have failed to file for the office.” — Ed Martin, the Missouri GOP chairman, on the Democrats’ failure to offer a candidate for state auditor, the only statewide office on the ballot this year.
Republicans will insist that all this suggests how strong of a candidate Schweich is. But others say this is a Democratic play to boost Schweich’s prospects so that he’s an even stronger candidate for governor in two years. Schweich has made it clear that he wants to run for governor in 2016, and Democrats believe he’d be easier to beat that year than the other leading GOP contender, former House speaker Catherine Hanaway.
• “I realized I needed to quit being one of the people who complains about it and go get things done. I wanted to give the people a better voice for their government.” — Jay Ashcroft, an attorney and son of the former Missouri governor and U.S. attorney general on his decision to to run for Missouri’s 24th District state Senate seat.
Ashcroft, who spoke to Kevin McDermott of the Post-Dispatch, was a late entry Tuesday on the final day of candidate filing. He’ll be in a three-candidate GOP scrum in the August primary and, if he wins, will face a Democrat in November for the St. Louis-area seat. Going the legislative route would be a different path for Jay Ashcroft than the one his father took. John Ashcroft lost a race for Congress in 1972, then held statewide offices until he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994. That was his first legislative office.
• “Expansion is simply something that the Legislature does not have much of an appetite for this year.” — House Speaker Tim Jones on the likelihood of the Missouri General Assembly passing Medicaid expansion this year.
This declaration won’t surprise insiders. The reality is sinking in that for the second year in a row, Missouri will pass on expansion as part of the Affordable Care Act. Even Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, who campaigned vigorously for expansion a year ago, seems to have lost interest.