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The GOP primary for US Senate keeps getting weirder and weirder. Convinced that Roy Blunt isn’t up to the challenge of taking on Robin Carnahan in the general election, and that a fresh face outside of Washington might do the trick, party elders like former Senator Jack Danforth turned to… Thomas Schweich.

Thomas who? Well, he’s a visiting law professor and former Bush Administration official (which just screams fresh face for the GOP, I know) who apparently has a few friends in high places.  Friends like Sam Fox, the big GOP donor who also helped fund Swiftboat ads with a $50,000 donation well after the ads had been discredited. Danforth, Fox & Co. must have agreed on “fresh face” as a talking point, because they used it several times during the course of their argument for an alternative to Blunt.

Meanwhile, Sarah Steelman, edging toward an official declaration for Senate herself, is loving it. She instantly sent out an e-mail welcoming the competition:

The US Senate is a very important office and I am glad to see Mr. Schweich taking an interest in it. I don’t know what he stands for yet so I will be interested in learning his views about the role of government,” said Steelman. “I think the Republican Party needs to embrace people who are willing to run for office instead of letting political power brokers who are more interested in profiting off of government and retaining their power hand pick someone for the job. Let’s try having a little competition in the free market of ideas in the Republican Party instead of a monopoly,” Steelman added.

Practically speaking, she’s already the “fresh face” from outside Washington that Danforth & Co. are desperately looking for. I’m not saying that she really has any new ideas – her platform for governor was essentially boilerplate Republicanism – but she did run against virtually the entire GOP establishment and nearly pulled out a win. She’s fresher than a former Bush official handpicked by establishment money men, in any case.