Monday, May 11, 2009

A Third Way for 2010?

Former U.S. ambassador and current law professor Tom Schweich says he's seriously considering a run for U.S. Senate in 2010.

Schweich, who served as an ambassador for counternarcotics in Afghanistan under President Bush and chief of staff for Sen. Jack Danforth when he was special counsel to the Justice Department, tells The Notebook he's been encouraged to run by prominent Republicans unhappy with the candidacy of Roy Blunt.

Former Sen. Danforth and Sam Fox are believed to be pushing Schweich's case.

"What's most important is winning," said Schweich in an interview Monday. "If I could be a unifying force, I would do it, if not, I wouldn't."

Schweich wrote an editorial in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch earlier this year criticizing Blunt's ability to win the general election. "That's my only criticism. I like Roy Blunt. I think he's been a good for the state. This is just about winning."

Schweich went on: "I am really concerned about having two Democratic Senators and a Democratic Governor and that as Republicans we would be shut out of the top leadership in our state. It's an unbalanced situation for our state and our country. We need to think carefully about who can beat Robin Carnahan. To the extent that I would make it easier to do that, I would run."

Schweich said he had no official timeline for making a decision , but said he wants to spend the next two to three weeks talking to more Republicans around the state.

"The main thing is I don't want to be a divisive figure. I think the opposition I have is the thought that I'd have a tough time against Roy Blunt. But I think the reason people are approaching me is because they are looking beyond that, to the general. That's why people are looking at me."

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