Primary Grades

I was surprised to learn that Sarah Steelman conceded the GOP Senate race at 10:00. I'd talked to Todd Akin at my polling place on Tuesday morning, and he confirmed my suspicion the Missouri Republican race for US Senate would be close. It really wasn't. Mr. Akin won handily, considering the 3-way race. John Brunner's remarkably negative, nasty, angry campaign should have made the race much closer. It didn't. Sarah Palin's endorsement of Ms. Steelman probably helped her, but not enough.

, member of the United States House of Represe...

In the end, Missouri Republicans recognized Todd Akin's consistent conservatism and rare decency. (Todd Akin is one of the nicest and most honorable people you will ever meet.) Even though I was surprised--and even though Sarah Steelman impressed me throughout the campaign--I believe Missouri made the right choice. Todd Akin was the was the most conservative, viable candidate. I'm glad I voted for him.

I'm also glad I voted for Peter Kinder. Lieutenant Governor Kinder and his chief opponent Brad Lager ran disappointing campaigns. Both candidates attacked the other with half-truths and ridiculous stretches. Still, Lt. Governor Kinder is a loyal and faithful supporter of St. Louis Tea Party and many other great causes. I like both men, but personal loyalties matter.

I've met Cole McNary a few times, and I thoroughly enjoy talking to him. Cole's bright and cheerful and dedicated to public service. We need more people like that in politics, and Cole will make a great Treasurer.

My favorite vote of August 7 was for Missouri's next Attorney General: Ed Martin. Ed will make a fantastic Attorney General as the battle lines between the states and the government in Washington become more important. If you need to get involved in a race, jump in with Ed. You'll thank yourself later.

I was heartbroken to learn that Lee Presser lost his bid for Republican committeeman for Queeny Township. Lee would have made a difference in the county Republican party. Maybe the victor will, too, but I know Lee would have. Perhaps God has greater plans for Mr. Presser. I hope so.

If you didn't vote on August 7, you have about 90 more chances to make a difference. Put up a yard sign, put some stickers on your bumper, join a lit drop, knock doors, make calls, tell friends, tweet, facebook, blog, comment. Every word of support for a candidate helps. Don't underestimate the power of your voice.

Rodger Cook Best Choice for Southern Illinois

Rodger Cook fools no one into thinking he’s a member of the political class.  He’s not. Rodger’s a human being, like the rest of us.  That’s just one of the reasons that Rodger Cook has earned my personal endorsement in next Tuesday’s (March 20) Illinois primary.*

Rodger Cook with Bill Hennessy

Actually, Rodger’s not so much like the rest of us.  Rodger has served the people of Illinois all of his adult life.  Rodger has been a police officer, a detective, a mayor, and private businessman.  He’s an inventor—creating the world’s first one-page softball score book for keeping score easier.  (I love this idea—you never have to put your beer down!) 

As mayor of Belleville, the largest city in Illinois’ 12th district, Cook ran up an amazing string of promises kept, including improving relations with city workers, expanding the city, and fixing Belleville’s fiscal mess. That last skill will be vital in Washington, DC, for the next two years.

Rodger is founder of Metro East Fellowship of Christian Athletes and long-time member of the St. Louis area chapter.  He has earned the trust and endorsement of numerous conservative, pro-life, and family organizations, including FamilyPAC.  He has been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police. 

Everyone in America will thank the people of southern Illinois when they send Rodger Cook to Congress in 2012.

*NOTE:  This is my personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition.

Who Won the New Hampshire Republican Debate?


It depends on how you score. Rick-Santorum

I see three scoring scenarios:

  1. Best conservative performance
  2. Best electability performance
  3. Best positional performance

Conservative performance is pretty clear: whose answers appeal to conservatives?  (Does not mean conservatives believed the candidate meant what he said.) This is not Tea Party scoring, either. I’m not limiting my evaluation to the 3 core Tea Party principles of Constitutionally limited government, free markets, and fiscal responsibility.  This is broader conservatism.

Electability performance means the candidate appealed to general election voters. This doesn’t meant centrist—it means not scaring the crap out of people who aren’t politics wonks. (That’s most voters, by the way.)

Positional performance means the candidate did what what he had to do based one his current standings in he nomination process.

On conservative performance, I have to go with:

  1. Santorum
  2. Perry
  3. Gingrich / Romney


  1. Santorum
  2. Gingrich
  3. Romney


  1. Romney
  2. Santorum
  3. Gingrich

If we give 3 points for first place, 2 for second, and 1 for third, we get this composite ranking:

  1. Santorum: 8 points
  2. Gingrich:  6 points
  3. Romney:  5 points

What does it all mean? 

Santorum should move up a bit in the polls before the New Hampshire primary, but not enough to win.  He needed Romney to finish out of the top 3 in this debate. 

Gingrich needed to pull Romney out of the top 3 and get closer to Santorum than he did.  This hurt Newt.

Romney improved his chances, but he didn’t close the deal.  The longer he lets Santorum and Gingrich stay in the game, the more vulnerable his lead becomes.