Missouri Governor Blunt won't seek re-election

In a decision that has shocked the Missouri Republican party, Governor Matt Blunt  has decided not to seek a second term:

In a statement that shocked political leaders, in both parties, Blunt released a TV address "announcing that having achieved virtually everything he set out to accomplish when he ran for governor, he will not seek a second term.

"In his address, Gov. Blunt cites among his accomplishments turning an inherited $1.1 billion deficit into three straight surpluses without a tax increase, cutting taxes, ending the education cuts of the past and providing budgets that will deliver $1.2 billion to universities, classrooms and students, rescuing the broken Medicaid system and transforming it into a network of care for vulnerable Missourians and helping turn record job-loss into nearly 90,000 new jobs.

"The governor called a news conference tomorrow morning at 9:30 am where he is expected to discuss his announcement," his statement said.
Blunt is a rising star in the GOP firmament so the decision raises some interesting questions about his future political plans. He will only be 38 years old when he retires so the sky's the limit. His name has surfaced on some Vice President lists although it is unknown whether he would accept.

Why would Blunt take this step? It could very well be that since 2008 is expected to be a Democratic year that he felt his prospects were less than certain - especially since his expected challenger, Attorney General Jay Nixon, would be a tough opponent. Nixon is a rising star in the Missouri Democratic party and would no doubt give Blunt a serious run for re-election.

Blunt is a man to watch in the future. A cabinet post would not be out of the question in a potential Republican administration. And in the event a Democrat wins in 2008, Blunt would have to decide whether to throw his hat into the 2012 ring for president or challenge Senator Claire McCaskill who he beat in the 2004 governor's race.