The Buzz

TheChat: Scott Walker is a man on the rise

Good morning.

▪ “Walker’s stock has skyrocketed from being a distant hopeful to more of a realistic choice for primary voters.” — GOP strategist Ron Bonjean on the presidential prospects of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Walker is soaring these days, especially in his neighboring state of Iowa, which holds the first major presidential test of 2016. And with Mitt Romney out of the race, Walker has a better shot at GOP donors.

▪ “We don't have the money.” — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on his proposals to fund high quality preschool programs, which he now says the state cannot afford.

The Democrat says he’s eager to pursue the programs, but only when the state has the money. “As the economy gets moving forward, we’d love nothing more than to get those dollars out there,” he said.

▪ “Frankly, the nation is better when members of Congress are forced to listen to the entire choir rather than a soloist. That's what I do.” — Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver on the fact that his 5th District includes urban Kansas City as well as rural communities.

He said African Americans who represent mostly white districts are unusual, but shouldn’t be. (link via

▪ “Eighteen months from now, we will not be able to match all of our federal funds. It's devastating to our state system.” — Missouri Department of Transportation Director Dave Nichols on low levels of state funding, which is jeopardizing Missouri’s ability to leverage federal dollars.

Declining state highways funds means Missouri won’t have enough in the kitty to maximize its federal allotment, Nichols said. Matches are usually based on a ratio of $1 in state funds for $4 in federal highway money.

▪ “Of course, I was outraged, and I’m still outraged. It’s one thing to stand up and protest. It’s another to physically threaten an individual.” — Arizona Sen. John McCain who said this weekend that he’s still upset at protestors who stormed a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that Henry Kissinger was to address.

McCain initially called the protestors “low-life scum,” and he wasn’t backing off that a few days later. Said McCain of Kissinger: “He is one of the great statesman of my lifetime. I think they’re terrible people that would do that to a 91-year-old man with a broken shoulder.”