It is going to be hard to imagine Missouri politics without Kit Bond.
He has either held statewide office or been a U. S. Senator nearly all of my adult life.
Bond has always been a politician I have appreciated because he, unlike many other politicians I interviewed would actually answer the questions and not go off on whatever the talking point of the day was.
I interviewed him numerous times while at the Lamar Democrat and The Carthage Press. He was always unfailingly forthright in his answers and always took the time to carefully explain his answers in plain English and not in political jargon.
And while I have not always agreed with the positions Bond has taken on the issues, I have never once doubted that he was genuinely a public servant.
As for the battle to succeed Bond, the jockeying has already begun. It appears Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has the inside track (and has had it for quite a while) for the Democratic nomination.
I would guess the two top candidates for the Republican side would be Jim Talent, who was barely beaten by Claire McCaskill two years ago, and our own Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt. If Blunt were to run, it would pave the way for Matt Blunt to run for Congress from the 7th District (quite possibly the only place in the state where he could be elected).
Never count out Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder. Though some have criticized his pulling out of the governor's race so quickly (and those rumors that he threw his fellow Republicans under the truck to make sure he was re-elected lieutenant governor), Kinder has name recognition and has some big money backers who are not likely to support either Blunt or Talent.
Sarah Steelman also has name recognition and is a national media magnet, and she might have the Attila the Hun of political operatives, Jeff Roe, behind her, but Roe has not exactly been stacking up the wins lately. Steelman also has to win as a party maverick since she burned a lot of bridges behind her during and after her recent primary race against Kenny Hulshof.
As for Hulshof, not likely.
Any thoughts out there? I would love to hear them.