While Blunt claims that he's looking forward to seeing what life is like for just "a member of congress," I'm not sure that the 58-year-old politician will be happy and content on the back bench.
So, what is the logical next move?
That depends on Kit Bond. Senator Bond is up for reelection in 2010. If Bond wants to run again, Blunt won't oppose him. But if Bond is ready for retirement, Missouri couldn't find a better candidate to replace him than Blunt.
If Bond decides to stay in the Senate, then what? Blunt has two options . . . Senator Claire McCaskill is up for reelection in 2012 , assuming that she hasn't taken a post in the Obama administration. And Governor Jay Nixon (putting those three words together still gives me a shiver) will be up too.
Would Blunt like to return to state politics or stay on the federal level? Only he can answer that one. But we can ask what would be best for the Republican Party, Missouri, and America.
I think that Peter Kinder will be in the best position to take on Jay Nixon in 2012. He's involved in state issues from his post as Lieutenant Governor and popular enough be reelected in the year of Obama.
Blunt would have a great shot at McCaskill. He's very popular with his southwest Missouri base and well known around the state. (If Blunt has already moved to the Senate in Bond's seat, the GOP could do worse than Sarah Steelman against Claire McCaskill.)
While I was not a fan of Matt Blunt's administration . . . I think that the job of governor was too big for him and he wasn't ready for it, I have tremendous respect for his father. The Missouri Republican Party needs Roy Blunt to step up in grade. Let's hope he gives it a shot.