Make no mistake, Steelman's entry into the congressional race could be a big deal. Former contestants in statewide contests have experience in wrangling up staffers, formulating a media blitz and traveling long distances to reach out to voters. They also carry fairly substantial name recognition.
Even though he lost in 2004, some have pointed to Blaine Luetkemeyer's experience in running for state treasurer as a major asset in his 2008 congressional bid.
But all this talk could be moot if Steelman decided to square off against U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Springfield, in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate. And many of the other candidates in the MO-7 sweepstakes - such as Sens. Gary Nodler, and Jack Goodman, Billy Long and Darrell Moore - are not exactly pushovers.
Still, it's fun to speculate.
It would be a weird twist of fate if Steelman and Luetkemeyer both ended up in the U.S. House together. The two ran against each other in the 2004 race for treasurer, a contest that Steelman eventually won in the general election.