"JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Gov. Matt Blunt says he simply lost his sense of mission. That's the best, and essentially only, explanation he is providing for why he will not seek re-election this year. Blunt insists he could have won if he had decided to run. And the Republican governor says criticism over Medicaid cuts and alleged e-mail destructions in his office had nothing to do with his exit from politics.
At a Capitol news conference Wednesday, Blunt declared he was "absolutely at peace" with his decision and has no intention of resigning before his term ends January 2009. "I didn't feel that sense of mission," Blunt told reporters repeatedly probing for insight into his decision"
No one knows for sure why Blunt decided not to seek a second term but it's a pretty safe bet that many do not buy Governor Blunt's statement that it had nothing to do with the recent e-mail scandal or that he no longer felt a "sense of mission".
So why did he resign?
One possible reason concerns a rumor that has been circulating around Missouri over the past year. The rumor in Missouri political circles is that U.S. Senator Kit Bond's fondness of alcohol has taken a toll on his health and that Senator Bond is planning on resigning.
Fired Up! Missouri , a Democratic blog recently posted:
"Rep. Jim Guest, R-King City, predicts that U.S. Sen. Kit Bond, R-Missouri, also will step down soon for health reasons. If U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, Matt Blunt’s father, is appointed to the senatorial post, Mr. Guest said he believes the current Missouri governor will go after the congressional seat."
Of course, Fired Up! Missouri also addressed the other rumor about Governor Blunt's resignation recently stating:
"Matt Blunt spent an otherworldly $89,300.08 on "legal fees" to law firm Lathrop & Gage between November 9th and December 31st of 2007. That's an awful lot of campaign money to be paying lawyers"
So which rumor is true? In all probability Governor Blunt's decision to resign was a combination of both opportunism and a desire to avert going to jail.
It has always been understood that House Speaker Jetton , who will be term limited this year, has expressed a desire to advance his political career by running for Governor. What he didn't count on was the parade of Missouri politicians, who would also consider throwing their hat in the ring.
Most notably, Lt. Governor Peter Kinder and as the Saturday January 27th, 2008 issue of the Southeast Missourian reported, current U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson.
Kinder and Jetton's desire to become Governor are self-explanatory, political advancement ; but why would Emerson, who holds a federal position, want to step down to a state position? Perhaps it has to do with her early endorsement of Rudy Giuliani in the October 23'rd , 2007 issue of the Southeast Missourian in which she stated:
"I'm proud to support Mayor Giuliani for President because he offers the best vision for our nation, his commitments to protecting American families and advocating fiscally conservative polices are important to Missourians"
As I noted in an Opinion-Editorial, published in the Southeast Missourian on November 6th, 2007: