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Anybody But Roy Blunt
Posted by: Jon Henke on Thursday, January 19, 2006

For the most part, my reaction is "what Dale said". It was hard to tell whether the stiff, tightly-controlled Rep. Blunt conference call was a artifact of Blunts' (and his staffs') discomfort with bloggers, or just his style in general.

"I'm a Professional Politician, boys, and don't you forget it." Clearly, such a set-up would be wonderful for dealing with reporters. Blunt gives them access and a soundbite, but doesn't risk a difficult question or an unscripted off-message moment. That's fine, though, because reporters are not issued opinions; they take what they can get and report it. Bloggers, on the other hand, get to write things like "the sun will set in a blazing red sky to the east of Casablanca before I'd want Roy Blunt as Majority leader", which you'll never see in, for example, the Washington Post.

For my part, my impression was that the gist of Mr Blunt's message was:
"I'm a Professional Politician, boys, and don't you forget it."
I, for one, believe him. And that's a problem.



Radioblogger has the audio of the Blunt conference call. Glenn Reynolds notes that "this has probably been the most open leadership contest in history", though it's hard to tell whether this is a function of the candidates involved, the fissures in the GOP or the new instant-access/instant feedback media paradigm.

Red State was shut out of the brief Q&A after being given a spot, so they posted the question they would have asked:

Perhaps you can figure out why they got bumped.

John Hawkins at RightWingNews felt unimpressed. And threatened...

Matt Margolis at GOP Bloggers had a different reaction...

Ed Morrissey of Captain's Quarters was diplomatic...

James Joyner at Outside The Beltway has what I think is a rather definitive brief...

I can certainly understand why there might be broad support for Rep. Blunt among his fellow Congressmen. He's probably quite an effective Majority Whip, and, as he pointed out, he knows how to count the votes. And in a position like Majority Leader, technical proficiency counts for much more than charisma with the bloggerati.

But I can't help but think that this misses the point. Republicans already played machtpolitik; they've gone the K Street Project route; they've had a House Majority Thug. If they replace DeLay with Blunt, they're just gambling that the electorate won't really care if business continues as usual.

That, I think, would be a losing bet.

UPDATE: I already have a slogan prepared for our campaign against Rep. Blunt becoming Majority Leader: SMOKE BLUNT!
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Unfortunately, the tendency of bloggers to ask hard questions and give unfiltered opinion afterwards probably means that this type of Q&A question will be a one time event. Politicians dont like tough interviews afterall, which is why they would rather do softball interviews on CNN and Fox News.

Good on all of you for being straightfoward while you had the chance, though.
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://

Good thing his name wasn’t Pole...
Written By: shark
URL: http://
My congressman is Mike Castle. Gee, I wonder what the odds are that he’ll vote for a status quo big spending type...
Written By: Joe R. the Unabrewer
But what can we do? This is an inside party thing, and I believe it is a done deal. It does really frost me, He will be unresponsive to the party just like previous house leaders we have had.
Written By: kyle N
As expected. Roy Blunt (R-KSTREET) is inevitably DeLay. (hah!)
Bad pun intended.

He falls right in line with the former majority leader’s school of strong arm.

You’re gunna fall in line, see… You’re gunna do what da bossman tells ya, see… and you’re gunna say what he wants you to say….if ya’ know what’s goodforya.
If you don’t,… you’ll be swimmin’ whida fishes…

Seriously, though. Kudos to all who ask the tough questions.

Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://

Might some of the problems with your perception of him be related to the idea that Blunt knew he was playing to a hostile crowd? The ’sphere generated noise over Shadegg, and the corresponding lack of positive noise over Blunt has not exactly been a secret, after all.

Frankly, I’m not too excited about the guy, myself, but I’m trying to get some added perspective, here; Might these have affected his presentation?

Written By: Bithead

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