Steelman served as Missouri's Treasurer from 2005 to 2009. In 2008 she made a bid for the Governors office, but lost in the Republican primary. In a Talent v Steelman race for Republican nominee for US Senate, she would be seen as an outsider.
With that background, it's interesting to learn that the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has apparently promised Steelman that it would not endorse Talent. Dave at Missouri Scout reports on the NRSC and Sarah Steelman (paid subscription):
The NRSC was burned last year in primaries across the country. In Colorado, Nevada, Alaska, and Maryland [I think he means Delaware - ed.], its anointed candidates lost in each primary and the eventual nominee lost each general election. In other words, the NRSC’s miscalculations (and spending on losing primary candidates) may have cost them control of the Senate.In short, the NRSC lost money on several primary races so it looks like they plan to keep their money out of Missouri's primary in 2012. I hope they stick with that plan. You might encourage them to do the same in your state.
That said, I have to take exception with Dave for referring to Steelman as the "Tea Party favorite". Dave isn't the only reporter to do that. Jeremy Jacobs of National Journal reported on Steelman's announcement earlier this week this way:
Second, the NRSC is showing a newfound interest in Steelman, a Tea Party favorite, who it shunned last year in favor of Roy Blunt.Since Steelman did not run in the 2010 Missouri Republican primary for US Senate, it's odd to say that the NRSC shunned her. They certainly anointed Roy, but Steelman wasn't among the candidates that were shunned. Those would be Chuck Purgason (2nd in the primary, 13%), Kristi Nichols (3rd in the primary, 7%), and several others.
I don't understand why Sarah Steelman is being referred to as the Tea Party favorite. She's not. She may be by the time the election is here, but she's not the favorite yet.
There are basically two paths to becoming a Tea Party candidate. The first path is to show up, maybe speak at events, maybe lead a local Tea Party group, recruit others, and just generally participate in the Tea Party. That's the path that Ed Martin and Gary Fuhr followed. The other path is to do something heroic, something exceptional that clearly indicates your commitment to Tea Party values. Once you've done that, you probably need to do some of the things on the first path: speak, lead, recruit, and participate. Paul Curtman followed the second path. I also think that Lt Gov Peter Kinder went above and beyond the call of duty when he brought suite against the federal government over the healthcare law.
Those are the paths to becoming a Tea Party favorite. As of today, there are no Tea Party favorites for US Senate in Missouri. I look forward to learning more about all the candidates. For now, best wishes for a successful campaign to Sarah Steelman, Jim Talent, Chuck Purgason, and Kristi Nichols (assuming the last three decide to run).