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Missouri’s junior Senator, Republican Roy Blunt, who was a prominent member of the House leadership during the tenure of the last Bush, is wasting no time in his bid to become a leader in the Senate. He is gearing up to compete for the job of Senate Republican conference vice chairman, which would put him in fifth place in the Senate Republican leadership hierarchy:

The official job description involves keeping minutes at Republican Senate meetings. But in reality, it brings much more clout than that suggests.

If Blunt wins, it would give the Springfield Republican and freshman senator an avenue to shape major Republican strategy and political decisions. It would also give him a seat at the table headed by Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Opposing Blunt is Wisconsin’s Senator Ron Johnson, a member of the congressional Tea Party generation, which means that Senate Republicans will have to choose between a prime representative of the glad-handing, money-grubbing, corporate politics of the Bush years or a wide-eyed, Tea-Party “outsider.”  It’ll be interesting to see how many of the Senators who spout off about big government corruption in order to work up the Tea Party voters at home will feel comfortable voting for Roy Blunt. Will they choose business as usual? Or will they come down on the side of batcrap crazy?