When visiting with U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt Saturday, prior to his commencement talk at East Central College, the thought came, this man might well be a candidate for president, or vice president. Maybe in 2016? When mentioning that, Republican Sen. Blunt did what seasoned politicians do, indicating those possibilities weren’t his focus at this time.
Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon, in his final term as the state’s first man, has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate in 2016.
Wouldn’t that be something of a rare political event if the two vice presidential candidates in 2016 would be from Missouri?
Will it happen? Probably not. Could it happen? Yes, but the odds are against it. Could we have one vice presidential candidate in 2016 from Missouri. That’s not far-fetched!
Sen. Blunt and Gov. Nixon have one major thing in common: Neither is on the radical side of their parties. There is another thing they have in common. Both are shrewd politicians. They know their way around the government halls and they possess a keen sense of voter interests. Not to be overlooked is that they are intelligent and have an understanding of local governments. They can identify with people, from the upper shelves to the ones not so high. Both are students of legislation.
Who ever thought in the 1930s that Harry Truman would end up in the White House? Political action often takes an unexpected course.
One of the political attributes of Sen. Blunt is that he and Democrat Claire McCaskill tend to agree on issues facing Missouri. If a bill helps Missouri, they are in lock step. They get along as well as it is politically possible. Sen. Blunt made it clear while here Saturday that they both work together for Missouri’s interests.
Sen. Blunt is optimistic about an economic upturn and he had questions about the local economy. He particularly has an interest in energy issues, and is optimistic about the future in that area. He’s concerned about jobs. He understands Missouri’s needs to improve its infrastructure. He was told of the city’s excellent relationship with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), and opinions were voiced about the good job MoDOT is doing with available resources.
When he met with city officials about the Washington bridge over the Missouri River, it was obvious he was well informed. He is aware of the state trying to obtain a federal grant that could mean funds to complete the enhancements Washington would like to see on the new bridge. He has been in touch with the secretary of transportation about the grant, but he made it clear the state may not get it.
Members of Congress are concerned about the low opinion in general that citizens have about them, and Sen. Blunt said members are as “frustrated” as people are about the gridlock.
Sen. Blunt is a careful listener. He meets people easily. He knows Missouri from his many years in county and state governments. Along the way, he also was president of Southwest Baptist University. As a two-term secretary of state, he worked well with newspapers. He was a leader in the U.S. House and also is among the top leaders in the U.S. Senate. He works quietly, mostly behind the scenes in Congress, and is highly respected. Wisely, while here, he didn’t endorse any of the Republican candidates for president being mentioned.
Sen. Blunt has a master’s degree in history and undoubtedly is one of the experts in Congress in American history. His keen appreciation of American history is one of the reasons he has been a leader in government on the various levels.
He mentioned that his commencement address Saturday at ECC would not be long — he understands graduates have other things on their minds on commencement day.