The Buzz

In Missouri, Rand Paul says the GOP needs more people with tattoos

Happy Monday to you, too.

• “We need a more diverse party. People with tattoos, and without tattoos. With earrings, and without earrings.” — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican,

speaking in Springfield Saturday night

at the Missouri GOP’s Lincoln Days event.

Rand, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, continues his crusade to broaden his appeal beyond the conservative right of his party. His remarks were spot-on, too. In just a few words, he neatly summarized the challenge before the Republican Party. Whether a majority of Republicans in this country are listening remains to be seen.

• “I suggest that it is more reasonable for you to engage in rational conversation instead of throwing incendiary press bombs from 10,000 feet.” — Missouri state Rep. Chris Kelly, a Columbia Democrat, in a letter to a fellow Democrat, Gov. Jay Nixon, about Nixon’s criticism of the GOP-led House Budget Committee for “omitting” $44.1 million for public schools. Kelly’s letter appeared in Dave Drebes’ MOScout.

Kelly was taking the GOP’s’ side in this spat, which erupted last week when Nixon, for the second day in a row, criticized the Budget Committee over a funding issue. Long story short, Kelly, a lawmaker who served in the House in the 1980s and ‘90s and is regarded as fair-minded, said Nixon was off-base. Kelly said the committee would be willing to work out differences if a meeting with Nixon could be arranged.

• “There’s still a wide avenue to run as a moderate, centrist, somebody-who-thinks-about-working-people-every-day Democrat in the heartland.” — Nixon on running for the presidency, if Hillary Clinton does not.

Nixon reiterated his interest at POLITICO’s fourth annual State Solutions Conference. That Nixon is now talking about this on national stages suggests that he’s serious indeed. He would join about 24,536 Democrats leaping into the race if Clinton, for some unexpected reason, would bow out. In the meantime, why not float your name? It’s an instant gravitas boaster.

• “Silver medals are a great thing in the Olympics, not that great in elections.” — former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway who is running for governor in 2016.

Hanaway, who was speaking to the Republican State Central Committee this weekend in Springfield, was joking about her second-place finish in the the 2004 race for Missouri Secretary of State, which she lost to Democrat Robin Carnahan. Hanaway announced that she would be stepping down as Republican national committeewoman in order to focus on her race for governor.