The 36 year old lost a close race against Republican Senator Roy Blunt in Missouri……Hillary Clinton did MUCH worst in the state last November…
He has been a Missouri lawmaker and Sec of State…
Since his loss running for the US Senate?
Kander has been going around the country and has caught Politico’s eye as a up and comer that maybe one the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary people on stage…(He works part-time for CNN)
Oh, and he’s a ex-military guy (lawyer) who can put together a assault rifle, blind folded , in 30 seconds….
The 36-year-old Kander—who came shockingly close to ousting Missouri’s Republican Sen. Roy Blunt last November despite Hillary Clinton’s blowout loss in the state—has been a man in demand the last seven months, starting with a major Iowa progressive group that reached out after the election to ask him to come to its holiday party. He drew a slightly bigger crowd than Bernie Sanders had at the same event two years earlier. He’s kept doing presidential-ish travel and generating presidential-ish buzz, though the highest office he’s ever held is secretary of state—of Missouri.
“All I can tell you is what people say when they invite us,” Kander said, sitting down for an interview for POLITICO’s Off Message podcast. “They say that they want me to come talk about the future of the party, how we were able to run 16 points ahead.”
“I wasn’t out there pretending I was a conservative Democrat,” he added. “I’m somebody who has talked a lot about and has done the act of running as who you are. You know, making a progressive argument, even in red states, and then did very well doing that.”
To hear Democrats from Barack Obama on down tell it, Kander is the future of the party: young, energetic, an insistently progressive lawyer from a red state, a devoutly anti-Trump military veteran … and, like the Democratic Party, not currently anywhere near power.
Since losing his Senate race to Blunt last year—Kander nearly won in a state Clinton lost by 19 points, and picked up 220,000 crossover Trump voters by running on a progressive economic message—he’s become a star of the Democratic grassroots circuit. He’s picked up 100,000 new Twitter followers and a CNN contributor contract. He’s been embraced by the insular Obama orbit and all but adopted by Joe Biden, who sees in Kander a little of his late son Beau, another earnest young Army veteran. The former vice president spent many a donor dinner last year calling out to a staffer “give me the iPad” so he could play the rifle ad—which has been view nearly 1.5 million times on Kander’s YouTube channel—for them himself.
Under attack by Blunt and the NRA for not understanding guns, he put together an assault rifle, blindfolded, while ticking through his record in the Army and fighting for background checks in the statehouse—finishing in under 30 seconds with a dare: “I approved this message because I’d like to see Senator Blunt do this.”
There’s not much market for more of Ted Strickland or Katie McGinty, who also lost Senate races last year, or Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Kentucky secretary of state who tanked a Senate race of her own in 2014. But people can’t get enough of Kander.
“He’s clearly a star and everybody knows it,” said Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who campaigned for Kander and has continued checking in with him by phone. They met when Franken did a USO show in Kabul in 2006, and though Franken doesn’t remember that, Kander has made an impression on him since: “He’s the funniest of the candidates that we’ve had since I started doing this.”
If Kander had beaten Blunt last year and been a freshman progressive Democratic senator from a red state with a history that includes fighting for voting rights and serving as an intelligence officer in Afghanistan, he’d be at the top of all the 2020 speculation lists. Now, “he’s a winning commodity—but there’s no elected position for him,” is how one high-ranking Missouri Democratic aide put it, despite the hopes of some local Democrats that he’d run instead of top GOP target Claire McCaskill next year.
And maybe, just maybe, he’s running for president in 2020 anyway. By then, he would only be 39 — seven years younger than Obama was in 2008….
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