Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ed Martin's Path to the Missouri Governor's Race

Ed Martin
Ed Martin
The Washington Post: GOP struggles to land top-tier talent in top-targeted Missouri:
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has been battered by a number of bad headlines, including for his past flirtations with a stripper whom he happened to be photographed with recently. (Ah, politics. 
Kinder has also seen his fundraising drop off significantly, from $1 million in the second quarter to $400,000 in the third, and Gov. Jay Nixon (D) is looking stronger every day.
Republicans familiar with the race note that Kinder hasn’t officially announced his bid — he’s getting some pressure not to run — and they expect an alternative candidate to emerge soon.
The question is just how good that candidate will be. Failed 2010 House candidate Ed Martin, who has been severely outraised by Wagner in the 2nd district race, is the subject of a draft effort by some conservatives.
Patrick Tuohey of the Missouri Record has gone so far as to write that Kinder Must Go. I will not go as far Tuohey. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has heard the conservative call of the Tea Party and, unlike so many establishment candidates, he has heeded that call.

However, things have changed for Kinder. He's taken a beating in the press as the Washington Post illustrates incompletely above. I've found myself unable to defend him the past few months while talking with friends. I find that I just don't jump to his defense as I did six months ago. I think that bodes ill for Kinder's gubernatorial aspirations because, if he's not getting positive press in the political banter between friends, then I think he's going to have a long hard slog ahead of him.

Those conversations between friends inevitably turn to alternative GOP candidates for governor. Ed Martin is frequently mentioned as he was in the Washington Post article above, but I don't see Martin jumping into the Governor's race unless he's pushed. If there's a cry from the masses that pushes Ed in, he will jump in with both feet and fists flying at Gov. Jay Nixon. That's just who Ed is.

But Ed Martin hasn't ever been elected to office which is almost a prerequisite for a state-wide run, especially for Governor. He does have experience working as former Governor Matt Blunt's Chief-of-Staff, but that experience will draw the obvious attacks from the left about the emails Blunt's administration was slow to release. The real question is whether Martin or Kinder has a better temperament for leading the conservative fight at the top of the ticket. That's for others--like the masses crying for Ed Martin--to decided.

Let's be clear about who those masses are. Yes, Ed Martin has grassroots support, but it's his ties to the Republican Party that must provide momentum for the push. The grassroots are not going to raise the million plus dollars required to put force behind that push. Furthermore, Martin will not elbow Peter Kinder out of the way even if the grassroots want him to. In short, the only realistic path I see for Ed Martin to enter the Governor's race is for the heir apparent, Peter Kinder, to pass the baton to Martin. That would involve stepping aside and endorsing Martin as well as providing an infusion of cash to a Martin for Governor campaign committee.

Peter Kinder has been waiting his entire life for a shot at the Governor's mansion. You don't often get a second shot, so the decision before him is a difficult and very personal one.

I will agree with Patrick Tuohey of the Missouri Record on one point: that stepping aside from his run for Governor allows Kinder to write his own epilogue. It's rare for an executive like Kinder to step aside from the enticing thrall of political power, but not unheard of. In fact, George Washington did so twice. The first time was when he resigned as commander-in-chief of the armies at the close of the American Revolution. The second was when he retired after his second term as president setting a two-term precedent for presidential service.

4 comments:

Gill O'Teen said...

The merits of Martin notwithstanding, the home of the BOTS has two important state wide offices to fill: 1) governor and 2) senator. If Martin undertakes to battle the red-jay Nixon, there will be a need to find a strong conservative to take on the evil dragon and obummer lower anatomy kisser, clearly a numbskull, for her chair in dea-sea.

Gill

JON DARMES said...

I don't know just how holy Patrick Tuohey of the Missouri record is and I'm sure I don't care. Having dated a few ladies who shucked their dainty's for a living is not a crime and spices up the average conversation. I don't care if Peter joined the ladies on stage, we have to get rid of Nikita Nixon. I wonder what kind of bar's Mr. Tuohey went to when he was younger and unmarried? If you've never been there, you don't have a clue as to what you are talking about, so don't knock it. If you have been there, perhaps you are not fit to write for the Missouri Record.

dsm said...

Gill,

When Todd Akin announced that he'd seek the GOP nomination for US Senate, Ed Martin switched to run in Todd's district (MO2). This is part of the reason that Ed must be pushed--if he switches again, he looks like an opportunistic race jumper.

Jon,

The reason I wrote that the WaPo's criticism was incomplete is because they didn't mention several other issues that are dogging Kinder. There was no mention of the fact that Kinder's SUV was stolen, crashed into a gun store, and then torched in a field. While your initial reaction may be that he can't be held responsible for some perp's theft (and I'd agree), leaving his keys in the car does not reflect well on Kinder's judgement. Billing the state for hotel room stays that were more campaign related than official business has been papered over now that he's reimbursed the state; however, this too does not reflect well on him. The fact that his right hand man, David Barcklage, owes more than half-a-million dollars in back taxes also reflects poorly on Kinder. None of these things by themselves is a big deal, but taken together... Well, like I said, it's just hard to defend the guy. It's hard because you know that who ever you're talking with has some great material to hit back with.

Again, I really like Peter. I think he would be a great Governor for the Show Me State and I think it's up to him to decide about that.

Brandy Pedersen said...

I will be supporting a candidate who is solid about where he stands and what office he wants to hold. That man is Bill Randles. The media and the GOP, Network is opposed to him. That tells me and it should tell you, he is worth his salt and can do some serious good. He is the REAL DEAL. Don't count his out!!!!! Ed should not even consider a run for Governor, many who supported him for the congressional race will feel betrayed by him. I know I would, If I gave money for a particular race and someone switches in mid/stream. I would really wonder!!