Unfortunately for Republican gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence, there is no “easy button” when it comes to running a state like Missouri.
Though loaded with money and able to flood the airwaves with slick advertisements, Spence demonstrated his lack of issues awareness during the Greene County Lincoln Day GOP Gubernatorial Forum March 3.
In the video above, he passes on the opportunity to address the question of where he stands when it comes to selecting a president based on the national popular vote movement instead of the electoral college. Conversely, Bill Randles tackles the question easily and delivers the kind of polished and informed response Missourians expect from their next governor.
While I’m not endorsing Randles yet, I am suggesting that someone tell Spence, the Missouri Republican Party’s “chosen one,” that it’s time to withdraw from the race. After all, we need to defeat Democrat incumbent Gov. Jay Nixon in November.
I don’t know him personally, but suspect Dave Spence might be a great guy. When looking for a Missouri Republican to defeat incumbent Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon, however, I want someone who appear sharp and energetic, not someone who reminds me of Sarah Steelman. Unfortunately, those qualities appear to be in short supply in a recent interview Spence gave to a Southeast Missouri newspaper reporter.
Only at the 4-minute mark in the interview video above, when Spence begins to talk about his past, does he begin to show some enthusiasm — and that’s not going to cut it. Instead, I think it’s going to take a candidate — home economics degree or not — who’s enthusiastic and energized about the future to defeat Nixon in November.
Randles, a Kansas City lawyer-turned conservative Republican candidate for governor who hopes to unseat Democrat Jay Nixon in November, shares more in common with the man currently occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue than many might be aware. Most importantly, he holds the distinction of having attended Harvard Law School at roughly the same time as the current commander-in-chief — that is, Randles was one year ahead of the upstart Obama.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I direct individuals seeking information about Randles’ GOP primary opponent to read the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the newspaper with a penchant for ignoring Randles, the candidate who’s been in the race for a full year, and devoting its attention to Dave Spence, the St. Louis-area businessman — backed by the GOP establishment, I might add — who only recently entered the race — and to lackluster early reviews from political insiders.
UPDATE 1/11/12 at 2:19 p.m. Central: Jake Wagman at the Post-Dispatch finally wrote an article about Randles that consists of more than an afterthought-style mention at the end of a piece about another candidate. Of course, the headline of the latest article begins with Randles’ opponent’s last name. For details, see Spence’s rival releases school transcripts, including Harvard report card.
Recently, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder dropped out of the race for the Missouri governorship before ever formally announcing his Republican candidacy. In the same breath as he said he would run for another term as the Show-Me State’s #2 official, he threw his support behind St. Louis businessman Dave Spence. Was that a mistake? Could be.
On Monday, Dana Loesch, host of The Dana Show, quizzed Kinder about his decision to back his longtime friend and still-undeclared candidate for governor whose background includes having been at the helm of a bank that benefited directly from President Barack Obama’s Troubled Assets Relief Program (a.k.a., “TARP”).
It’s going to be interesting to watch this play out.
To this observer of all things Republican in Missouri, it appears Spence has received the early “blessing” of state Republican Party officials — and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch — despite the fact he has not formally announced and that someone else, Kansas City resident Bill Randles, has announced and has quietly built a strong following while crisscrossing the state since January.
So why haven’t the apparatchik-like folks at the MOGOP recognized Randles’ candidacy in any substantial manner? Probably because he’s not a career politician and he’s not the kind of candidate who will allow himself to be compromised by party bosses and dealmakers in the smoke-filled rooms of Jefferson City. Kinda like Herman Cain.
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