Reader: Where Nixon Learned His Craft
“Dave, the chief executive detached and aloof from the legislative process that you described was an absolute echo of Jefferson City more than 20 years ago. When Democrats had big state legislative majorities, then-Governor John Ashcroft was maddening in his games pointedly refusing to engage on legislation until it hit his desk and he vetoed it, or claiming that he was for something all along and was pleased to sign it.
“Thanks to term limits, fading memories and deaths, those days may be forgotten to all except career bureaucrats, booze-brined lobbyists and a handful of veteran working news reporters like Virginia Young and Bob Priddy. They well remember Ashcroft bounding into his office news conference immediately after session adjournment with a big checklist of legislation mounted on an easel. Ashcroft grabbed a thick Sharpie and proceeded to check off the bills that passed as his accomplishments. It appears John left the Detached Governor Guidebook in the desk drawer for Jay Nixon to appreciate and absorb…
“I might add: the ambitious state senator from Jefferson County in that period was … Jeremiah W. Nixon who obviously took good notes on gubernatorial detachment.”