Saturday, February 09, 2008

"We Have A Story To Tell As Well"

It was a striking moment emblematic of Sarah Steelman's challenge.

As she sat just feet away from him on the same stage during the Lincoln Day Town Hall Forum Saturday morning, State House Speaker Rod Jetton basically endorsed her primary opponent for Governor.

"Kenny Hulshof has an agenda that's going to take us to victory," Rep. Jetton said to cheers, as Steelman sat beside him.

Steelman is clearly the outsider candidate in this now 2-way Republican primary for Governor. And while many party people believe it will be tough for her to stay in the race until August, it was full speed ahead at the town hall meeting Saturday morning.

"We have a story to tell as well, in the Treasurer's office," Steelman said to the audience after Jetton finished speaking.

In her speech, Steelman touted her accomplishments as State Treasurer. She pointed to $1 billion dollars that's been invested back into the state of Missouri and 6,000 new jobs created under her watch. "We need to make sure we're creating jobs, expanding the economy keeping taxes low," said Steelman.

She also highlighted her work at cutting off state investments to companies that aided possible terrorist activity in countries like Iran, Sudan and North Korea. "I said in Missouri, not with our money and we cut it off," Steelman said.

Then, came the questions from the crowd. She was asked how she would increase funding for higher education. After acknowledging it was "a tough question," she said she would first look at what current spending was getting used for. "I'd take a hard look at administrative waste to see what savings can be made there," Steelman said. She also said she'd like to convene a summit of individuals "who know the insides of public universities."

She then got the opportunity to rail against illegal immigration and said what every Republican has said. Washington has done nothing. It's unfair for law-abiding, tax-paying citizens, but really . . . there's little we can do.

Steelman received polite applause at the event, but nothing like the standing ovation rival Rep. Kenny Hulshof received. And then, before the question and answer session was over, Steelman leaned over to the moderator and walked out of the room.

She had to leave the session early, the moderator explained, for a previous scheduled engagement.

The party faithful at Lincoln Days are now wondering if that will ultimately be the fate of her campaign for Governor.

1 comment:

Quinn said...

Mr. Catanese could not have attended the same event I was at and submitted the negative comments about Sarah. I am not sure what agenda he may have. She stayed and answered questions for just as long as Congressman Hulshof. Hulshof had to leave the event early also (there are literally dozens of events going on and meetings overlap). Sarah received thunderous applause for her comments on illegal immigration, a question that Hulshof fumbled in an earlier meeting in the day. Most of the "party faithful" were concerned that the political insiders who were supposed to deliver the state for Romney, were now backing a candidate for Missouri governor who has never run a state wide race, has little name identification outside of Northeast Missouri, and carries the baggage of an ear marking, fiscally irresponsible Congress with a 22% approval rating.