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Politically Speaking: Kit Bond outlines his life in politics and policy

Former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are pleased to welcome former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond to the program for an in-depth look at his career and legacy.

Bond’s political career spanned nearly four decades. A Republican, he won seven statewide elections, including serving two non-consecutive terms as governor and four terms as a U.S. senator. The Mid-Missouri native was an instrumental force in making Republicans competitive in a state that for decades had been dominated by Democrats.

Since he retired from public service in 2011, Bond became a partner with the Thompson Coburn law firm. He also started Kit Bond Strategies, a business development and lobbying firm. And he’s developed a passion for growing chestnuts on his homestead in Mexico, Mo.

During the nearly hour-long show, Bond delved into a number of topics, including:

  • How a fascination with politics led him to pursuing public office – and the lessons he learned from victory and defeat, including keeping focused on your jobs, not the campaigns of others.
  • How he dealt with a solidly Democratic legislature while he was governor – and how he forged personal relationships with lawmakers to get things done.
  • Whether his views became more conservative over time.
  • His transition into the U.S. Senate and how the institution has changed over time.
  • How, in his view, it was a mistake for Republicans lawmakers to oppose earmarks, which effectively allow members of Congress to direct federal money to particular projects.
  • His motivations for voting to authorize the Iraq War in the early 2000s. Bond’s son, Sam, joined the Marines in 2003 and served two tours of duty in the conflict.
  • His unsuccessful bid to get Republican lawmakers in the Missouri General Assembly to accept Medicaid expansion under the auspices of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Whom he’s endorsing for president and for Missouri governor next year.
  • How he’s become one of Missouri’s largest producers of chestnut crops, thanks to scores of trees planted on his farm.
St. Louis Public Radio's Jo Mannies chats with Bond before taping begins on Politically Speaking.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis Public Radio's Jo Mannies chats with former Sen. Kit Bond before taping begins on Politically Speaking.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Follow Kit Bond on Twitter: @KitBondMO

Music: “Dayman” by Portugal. The Man

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Jo Mannies is a freelance journalist and former political reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.