The Buzz

Missouri GOP ponders races, debt — and a new football stadium

By Dave Helling

Leftovers from the Missouri Republican party’s weekend get-together in Kansas City:

1. Republicans think Sen. Roy Blunt will win his race against Jason Kander, but their enthusiasm is a bit wobbly. Blunt is not a universally beloved figure in the Missouri GOP — he tried to push Todd Akin out of the Claire McCaskill race in 2012 — and some Republicans are nervous about comparisons with Kander that will inevitably come.

Kander, they noted, is the fresher face — and has no Washington baggage, unlike Blunt. Kander also volunteered for military service.

They still think the Democrat will lose, and will get a good job in the next administration if Democrats retain the White House. But Missouri Republicans don’t believe the race is a walkover, by any means.

2. Jacob Turk is thinking about running against Emanuel Cleaver again.

3. Rep. Sam Graves gave a shout-out to Catherine Hanaway Friday, but did not mention Tom Schweich or Randy Asbury, who are also running for governor.

It wasn’t a surprise, since Axiom Strategies represents Graves and Hanaway. Still, sides are being picked in that primary.

4. There is almost no enthusiasm for state funding of a new football stadium in St. Louis. Some Republicans wondered why Gov. Jay Nixon is pushing the issue so hard.

St. Louis interests hope the NFL forces Rams’ owner Stan Kroenke to stay in Missouri — if the league allows the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers to move to Los Angeles instead of the Rams, they think that will force the St. Louis team to subsidize a new stadium out of its own pocket.

5. New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte was solid, but needs to up her game if she really wants a spot on the 2016 GOP ticket as some believe. She mistakenly referred to “800 million taxpayers” who received error notices from the government as part of Obamacare.

It was actually 800,000 taxpayers. She made the error twice.

In a banquet hall in Kansas City, on a Friday evening, the mistake means nothing. As a vice-presidential candidate, though, the error would be magnified (cf. Joe Biden, Sarah Palin, et al.)