The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

BuzzChatter Monday: Romney returns to the campaign trail

04/21/2014 7:00 AM

04/20/2014 9:02 PM

Hope you still have some of that chocolate bunny to nibble on today.

• “He is a man at peace, but I don’t think that he has politics totally out of his blood.” — Tom Rath, a New Hampshire-based political consultant, on the resurfacing of Mitt Romney. Rath once worked for the former Massachusetts governor.

Romney, 67, is picking up some rave reviews for this return to the political stage, becoming a much sought-after GOP fundraiser. Although he has insisted that he won’t seek the presidency again, some wonder.

• “Do you want your tax dollars to pay for it?” — Missouri state Rep. T.J. Berry, a Kearney Republican,

to the Post-Dispatch’s Kevin McDermott

arguing that it’s OK for special interests to pay for legislative trips.

Well, yes, we would, representative. Critics argue that the $200,000 that special interests have forked over for trips the past three years are little more than paid vacations. In a $24 billion budget, lawmakers should be able to find $75,000 or so a year to finance trips that add needed expertise to the General Assembly. The key to improving the Missouri General Assembly is finding ways to minimize the influence of outside interests. Those interests already work in a world where they can make unlimited gifts and campaign donations.

• “After the 2012 race, the bar’s pretty low.” — Rob Stutzman, a California-based Republican consultant, on the

new and improved version

of Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Perry’s 2012 presidential candidacy imploded after the governor stumbled repeatedly on the campaign trail, including one wince-inducing moment when he couldn’t identify the third of three federal agencies he wanted to eliminate. Perry apparently has stepped up his game and presumably is considering another run for president.

• “The angry opponents are more mobilized than the beneficiaries.” — David Axelrod, the longtime adviser to President Barack Obama, on the political fallout of the Affordable Care Act.

Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson helped solidify the Democratic Party with the creation of Social Security and Medicare respectively. But the same dynamic isn’t playing out for Obama. Young people and minorities who signed up for health care under the law aren’t likely to vote in November.

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