Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Blunt Pardons Turkey, Not Martin

Gov. Matt Blunt today pardoned a Missouri turkey at the Governor’s Mansion as part of this year’s Thanksgiving celebration -- and let go of his Chief of Staff Ed Martin.

“As I pardon Gobbles today I am reminded of the many blessings Missourians can be grateful for including a safe, abundant food supply that our farm families help put on our tables each day,” Gov. Blunt said. “Pardoning this turkey is a symbol of the importance of charity and thanksgiving during the holiday season. It is also a reminder for each of us to be thankful for Missouri agriculture and to remember its importance to our state’s economy and to thousands of farm families across Missouri.”

Now, to the meat . . . Jason Rosenbaum has audio of the Governor's press conference. Blunt said Martin exceeded his expectations in his work in state government, and said that Martin wanted to pursue other opportunities in state government.

Blunt dodged around whether he specifically asked Martin to resign --- and seemed to struggle with an obvious question. "We discussed it, we discussed his desire to move on," Blunt said, responding to the third time he was asked.

This awkwardness made it easy for the Democratic hit machine today. "While Blunt went out of his way to say he values Martin’s 'insight, his management, his leadership,' he refused to answer a very direct question about Ed Martin’s job security, according to a video shot by the Columbia Daily Tribune," said state Democratic Party spokesman Jack Cardetti.

"Perhaps this is a little foreshadowing. Tomorrow, the busiest travel day of the year, is officially 'national take out the political trash day," Cardetti went on.

And then there's the Matt Blunt Document Destroyer Game. Wow. Whoever designed this needs to get a raise.

Can the conventional wisdom assume the Blunt administration/political operation realized the e-mail story wasn't going away -- and needed a casualty to prove accountability? Can that CW also assume the Governor didn't want to explicitly say that?

Is this early inside baseball all over the voters heads -- or will it become a bigger issue than the Medicaid cuts during what's expected to be a vicious 2008 campaign.

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