Governor's home

Saturday, October 8, 2005

Lebanon (Mo.) Daily Record

Gov. Matt Blunt is a commuter. Since taking office in January, according to a report by The Associated Press, he's spent more time at his home in Springfield than he has at the Governor's Mansion in Jefferson City.

His critics say that's a problem. ...

But Blunt offers a different view. He doesn't believe the people of Missouri necessarily want a governor who spends his or her time holed up in the Governor's Mansion. ...

Perhaps this is true, but 140 nights (53 percent) spent in Springfield seems a bit to the other extreme, especially when you compare it to the nights spent in Jefferson City (31 percent).

We're willing to include in the equation the fact that Blunt and his wife, Melanie, just had a baby. During the weeks before and after the March 9 birth of his son, Branch, Blunt spent almost all his nights in Springfield. And rightfully so.

We'll even grant Blunt the fact that the Governor's Mansion, with its Renaissance style and antiques, probably isn't exactly kid-friendly.

But shouldn't the governor live in the Governor's Mansion? ...

It seems a happy medium can and should be reached in Blunt's case. If he doesn't want to be a full-time resident of the Governor's Mansion, that's up to him; if he feels, as the AP story said, that he's "more productive in Springfield," that's fine.

But Jefferson City is the capital, and Blunt was elected governor of Missouri, not just the Ozarks.

We hope he'll spend a little more time governing from the capital during the remainder of his term and a little less time keeping the 170 miles of highway hot between Springfield and Jefferson City.

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