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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Nixon's First Stand

[ Patrick Tuohey ]
While Missouri Republicans celebrate an increased majority in the General Assembly and a new party chairman, Jason Hancock over at the Star reports that Nixon appears likely to move to the left. Nixon, according to the story, spent his first term,

steer[ing] clear of direct confrontation with legislative Republicans, who for the last decade have dominated the General Assembly. If anything, lawmakers complained he shared his thoughts on legislation only after it landed on his desk.

Liberals have been frustrated by Nixon and his unwillingness to get involved in issues important to them. They likely are arguing that those veto-proof Republican majorities in the Assembly were caused by Nixon's failure to provide a clear alternative. To make matters worse, his campaign for re-election painted him as a conservative, taking credit for things the legislature did. But now liberals are being told to expect great things from him.

The story suggests that Nixon's priority in his first term was getting re-elected. But now that he's term limited, well, it's another ballgame.

Re-election means four more years of “opportunity to get things done,” Nixon said, but term limits mean that’s the end of it. After nearly three decades in state government, his time is running out.

Read that again. Nixon has spent almost 30 years in state government, but now he's serious about getting things done. Things beside re-election, that is. Well, sorta. According to longtime friend Chuck Hatfield,

“I’ve never met a politician who didn’t want a promotion,” Hatfield said, later adding: “I’d be surprised if Governor Nixon has ruled anything out.”

Think of it as a re-election campaign... to a higher office. Nixon's new rhetoric isn't aimed at Missouri voters; it's aimed at national Democratic leaders. Will Missouri's liberals continue to champion a governor who doesn't champion them?

1/10/2013 10:03:44 AM

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