The Buzz

Former U.S. Rep. Todd Akin isn’t ruling out challenge to Sen. Roy Blunt

A hot one to begin the day:

▪ “I have not ruled anything out.” — former Congressman Todd Akin about the possibility of challenging incumbent Roy Blunt in the 2016 GOP Senate primary.

Akin, of course, famously lost the 2012 U.S. Senate race to Democrat Claire McCaskill following his comments about “legitimate rape.” Blunt turned on Akin following those remarks, and this may be Akin’s revenge. This would be the worst possible nightmare for Blunt who would face the twin tasks of defeating Akin in an intra-party skirmish that would almost certainly be contentious and enduring the damage to the GOP brand that an Akin candidacy would inflict. For his part, Akin said there’s a “high level of dissatisfaction” among conservatives who feel that they have been pushed out of the Republican Party.

▪ “It’s a stonewall office. And this is the worst it’s been, ever.” — former 40-year Missourinet reporter Bob Priddy on the tight leash that Gov. Jay Nixon keeps on information flow inside the Statehouse.

It wasn’t always so tough. Veteran Capitol reporters recalled in earlier days getting phone calls from the governor himself. These days, access to department heads and other staffers has virtually dried up.

▪ “Missouri needs and deserves strong leadership and a new approach with more innovative policies to move our state forward.” — Eric Greitens of St. Louis who’s exploring a race for statewide office next year.

Greitens, a former Navy SEAL turned author, is said to be considering a race for governor, although he hasn’t specified which office he would seek. A gubernatorial candidacy would add a fourth name to the growing GOP field.

▪ “I just think that people want to participate, and they’re already talking about it.” — Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican, on the importance of the state holding a 2016 presidential primary.

Wagle disagreed with fellow Republican and Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who wants to cancel the primary because of its $1.75 million cost. She acknowledged that the cost is high, but insisted that voters want to take part in the presidential winnowing process.