Sunday, June 14, 2009

Week 22: Nixon's Grade


Last Monday's conference call held by Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder provided the latest evidence that Missouri Republicans are still uncertain how to paint a contrast with Gov. Jay Nixon. Kinder summoned reporters to suggest that some Missouri universities felt bullied into taking one-time state money to fund the Governor's health education plan. But state government's top elected Republican had no evidence to back up his claims. And when questioned about the allegation, universities officials seemed as baffled as reporters were skeptical. Higher ed stuck with Nixon. Jason Noble of the Kansas City Star landed the toughest blow: "(Kinder) seemed to say, his role was to spread rumors in the media." Somewhere Team Nixon had to be smiling. This past week, Nixon continued his tour of the state touting his economic package. Small business tax cuts were the focus. And even though the targeted cuts are small, anytime a Democrat can claim a tax cut, it's good politics. The Associated Press' David Lieb notes that the Governor continues to stress Missouri's high (but outdated) unemployment rate in order to be able to claim improvement closer to his next election date. Maybe by then Republicans will have figured out how to strategically and cohesively position themselves against a Governor who, for now, is politically sailing over their heads.

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