Roy Blunt makes his move

Missouri's Roy Blunt, who's managed thus far to evade the glare of the Mark Foley scandal, now smells blood and comes out with harsh words for the guy he praised just a few days ago, Denny Hastert:

As conservatives debated whether House Speaker Dennis Hastert should resign over his handling of the complaint, the House majority whip, Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said he would have done things differently if he'd known about it. He was the acting majority leader when the complaint was raised.

"I think I could have given some good advice here, which is you have to be curious, you have to ask all the questions you can think of," Blunt said. "You absolutely can't decide not to look into activities because one individual's parents don't want you to."

A little cocky, no? And pretty far removed from this bouquet he tossed to Hastert just a few days back:

Blunt said Hastert "has the support of the conference he has led so ably for so long."

Hey, if I'm Roy Blunt, I've got every reason to be pleased these days. This Mark Foley firestorm is burning everything in its path. Denny Hastert's hanging onto his job by his fingernails. John Boehner's flip-flopping every other day on who knew what and when. Ditto Rodney Alexander. God only knows what he'll say tomorrow. Poor John Shimkus, he's just screwed. Tom Reynolds is hiding behind children, for crissakes. And now Tom's chief of staff, Kirk Fordham, either quit or got himself fired. Whichever. Guess he shouldn't have tried to get ABC to not release those IM transcripts. He's blaming Denny too. Poor Denny. Wouldn't want to be in his shoes.

If I'm Blunt, I'm taking care of number one. First, I don't say a thing. I don't have to worry about the local press, they're all asleep at the switch. Then I stand up with the boys - just for a moment - to denounce Foley. I send out an email saying I don't know nothin' about nothin'. I offer some nice platitudes about Hastert (though I'll stick the knife in later) and go right back to laying low. Nobody's looked in my direction, even though I'm majority whip and Foley was a deputy under me. Even though I gave campaign money to Foley, and he donated to my kid's campaign for governor. Even though I was interim majority leader when word of Foley got out. Even though I'm the number three guy in the GOP House leadership. Even though Foley was my friend.** I didn't know anything, didn't hear anything, didn't see anything. It's all news to me. I didn't find out until last week.

And now that it's all coming down, I'm in a great spot. Hastert's done, he's toast, and there's no way Boehner's going to succeed him. He's in this up to his lapel pin. No, the other guys are going down like tenpins and when the dust clears, the membership's going to need a new Speaker. And that's me.

The man - the only man - who didn't know anything.

If I'm Roy Blunt, that's my story. And I'm sticking to it.

**Friends indeed, as Roy Temple points out at Fired Up! Missouri.

Related posts:
Ask Roy Blunt about the Mark Foley scandal
Where is the Missouri press on Roy Blunt and the Mark Foley scandal?
The man who knew...nothing?
Plots and intrigues within Foleygate

(Cross-posted to the max, pretty much...)

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