Robert Novak

Missouri Republican Gov. Matt Blunt's prospective 2008 re-election campaign was not on the agenda of a recent meeting between him and his political team, leading to informed speculation that he might not run for a second term in the barometer state.

Republican fortunes in Missouri nose-dived after Blunt, at age 33, rode a 2004 GOP tide to victory. He was at war with his conservative base last year after endorsing a ballot initiative supporting embryonic stem cell research that was passed in the 2006 election. State Atty. Gen. Jay Nixon, the state's most experienced Democratic office-seeker, is expected to be a formidable candidate for governor.

A footnote: Blunt was the only governor present at former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's recent presidential fund-raising extravaganza.

Dr. Multimillionaire (cont.)

Rep. Steve Kagen, the self-financed freshman Democrat who claimed he insulted George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Laura Bush and Karl Rove at a post-election White House reception, called for bipartisan cooperation in his first legislative speech in the House Wednesday.

Democratic leaders were reported to have advised Kagen to cool off when he took the House floor to urge passage of a college aid bill. Kagen attracted national attention by telling peace activists in his northern Wisconsin district of his alleged taunting of President and Mrs. Bush. The White House called Kagen's story "ridiculous."

Kagen, who calls himself "Dr. Multimillionaire," is a rich allergist who came from nowhere to win the usually Republican district.

Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.

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