In an interview with Politico's Dave Catanese, Ed Martin publicly expressed doubts about Sarah Steelman's ability to "run a 2010-2012 style campaign" and beat Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Asked if he thought Steelman could defeat McCaskill, Martin replied, "I'm really not sure. I think it's a harder race for her. I've never seen her run a 2010-2012 style campaign. It's a different era."
The former chief of staff to Gov. Matt Blunt praised Steelman's competitiveness but added, "I don't think we should assume the first person who says they want to run, is the best person."
Martin said his ties to anti-abortion and economic conservatives across the state would give him a formidable base for any statewide office, including Attorney General or Secretary of State. Depending on how redistricting goes, Martin could also run again for the 3rd Congressional District.
"I just think the top of the ticket is one of the most important things. The U.S. Senate is going to be in the balance next cycle," he said, making clear where his ambitions lie.
Martin won praise and respect from many Republican insiders throughout the Show-Me state for the vigorous campaign he waged in a deeply blue Democratic district once represented by Dick Gephardt.
Catanese doesn't mention that Martin earned condemnation and lost respect when he vigorously peddled lame vote fraud conspiracies after losing in November, or mention that Martin's campaign's communications director called Martin "egotistical" and "shady" after the election, or mention any of the absolutely insane things Martin has said and done that will hamstring any and all of his political aspirations, but but providing the full picture about the Republicans who give him exclusive interviews and scoops doesn't seem to be Catanese's thing.
That said, I think Ed's right to wonder about Steelman's ability to run an effective campaign. She's done very little to capitalize on the energy and attention that came with her early announcement, and appears to have completely retreated after her little dustup with Mark Reardon.