"In 1972, I became Missouri's youngest Governor. Ladies and Gentlemen, I do no aspire to become Missouri's oldest Senator," said Bond.The GOP would prefer not defend yet another seat from the non-incumbent position, but the list of fine, qualified GOP successors is long, including former Sen. Jim Talent, current Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, former state treasurer Sarah Steelman, and current congressman Sam Graves. Along with Talent, Graves may be an early favorite who as a congressman 1.) won't be in the middle of a four year term in 2010 (unlike Kinder,) 2.) has a ready-made platform from which to make his case, and 3.) just happened to utterly trounce former Kansas City mayor Kay Waldo Barnes -- in every county -- a few months ago. Barnes was a popular politician that the DCCC thought made MO-6 vulnerable, and then didn't.
Bond was first elected to public office in Missouri in 1970 as State Auditor, followed by two terms as Governor, and four terms as U.S. Senator. Throughout his career of service to the State, Bond has worked across party lines to put Missouri first. In his address to both chambers today, Bond called on Republicans and Democrats to work together for the common good. As our nation faces an economic, housing, and financial crisis and the persistent threat of terrorism, bipartisan cooperation is more important then ever.
From another perspective, Bond's exit might not have been better timed. The Democrats in highest state office were just elected and most will be in the middle of their first terms come 2010. (Note: Secretary of State Robin Carnahan is a credible candidate that just won re-election.) And like I said before, the field of possible Republicans is wide and largely unencumbered. If the GOP can pull it off, it may be able retain Kit's seat for many cycles; Kit's been a great representative for Missourians, but even if he stayed in to run for re-election, I can't imagine he would've wanted to have stayed in beyond 2016.
Should be interesting.
Update: Thanks, AP! He tossed in another obvious name in his post that I should have noted in mine, Rep. Roy Blunt. Obviously, another formidable candidate. I've also gotten feedback from some politicos that Graves is a non-starter for some important players in GOP. And true enough, there has been lots of tension between Graves and Bond over the years.
Again, should be interesting.