The Buzz

TheChat: Missouri may still matter come its March 15 presidential primary


Good morning.

▪ “If we’ve still got three, four or five candidates who have a real shot, then the 52 (Republican) delegates from Missouri could be a very big prize.” — Missouri GOP chair John Hancock on the state’s March 15 presidential primary.

Some 25 states will have held their primaries or caucuses by the time Missourians go to the polls. But March 15 could be key as several other big states — Florida, Illinois and Ohio — will also conduct elections the same day. (link via

▪ “Every single category you look at, we are lagging behind the rest of the country because we don’t have conservative leadership.” — Missouri GOP gubernatorial candidate Catherine Hanaway speaking to an audience in Newton.

Hanaway also said she has the right combination of public- and private sector experience. A former House speaker, Hanaway has worked as a lawyer and former U.S. attorney in eastern Missouri. She’s competing against four other GOP candidates.

▪ “Fourteen candidates means we have 14 able-bodied people running for president in a competition, in a battle of ideas, to try and compete among each other to have the honor of representing our party. I think that's a good process.” — House Speaker Paul Ryan addressing the crowded GOP presidential field and whether a field that large suggests a Republican Party that can’t govern itself.

Ryan spoke on “60 Minutes” Sunday. This comment was from an unaired clip. The verdict on his appearance: impressive.

▪ “Anybody who thinks differently is lying to you.” — an operative from a rival campaign speaking about Ted Cruz’s potential to rise and shine in the 2016 presidential race.

Writes Politico: “He has more cash than any other Republican candidate. He is organized in every county in the first four voting states. And he has served up one strong debate performance after the next. Now, not three months from primary season, rivals concede they have begun to fear Ted Cruz has an increasingly clear path to the Republican nomination.” Cruz’s top operative, Jeff Roe of Kansas City, has been saying as much for months.