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This Navy SEAL Crushed His Primary Opponents In The Race For Governor
Political novice Eric Greitens’ decisive victory over three experienced candidates to win Missouri’s Republican nomination for governor last week is the ultimate proof that the “political outsider” obsession gripping America is gripping the state as well.
That’s the conclusion of two of those who fell to Greitens on Tuesday.
“Sometimes, you just are on the wrong end of a phenomenon,” said Catherine Hanaway. She made history more than a decade ago as Missouri’s first female House speaker and was attempting to repeat the feat at the gubernatorial level. “We got hit with the tidal wave of the ‘outsider.’”
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder concurred. “[Greitens’] entire campaign was based on being an outsider, at a time when that appears to be compelling nationally and in Missouri,” said Kinder, who had hoped to cap his unbroken 25 years in state government by seizing its top prize.
The next question will be whether the “outsider” phenomenon can win a general election as well.
The Nov. 8 contest will be between Greitens, one of the least politically experienced gubernatorial nominees in Missouri history, versus one of the most: Democrat Chris Koster, the sitting state attorney general, with an elective résumé stretching back more than 20 years.
“We have an opportunity with our nominee, who embodies that outsider movement, against a truly establishment politician,” said Hanaway. It’s a theme that Republicans are likely to hammer at again and again in the coming months.
Greitens, 42, a former Navy SEAL, author and veterans’ activist, won the race by about 10 points over his closest competitor, retired businessman John Brunner, upending polls that had predicted a tight race.
Greitens had never sought elective office, and he was the only of the four GOP candidates who could say that. Kinder and Hanaway both have held major posts, and Brunner competed in 2012 in Missouri’s Republican race for the U.S. Senate.
Echoing what has become a familiar tactic in recent years by candidates without political experience — especially among Republicans — Greitens waved his lack of connection to the political system as a banner throughout the campaign.
“As all of you know, I’ve never run for office before, I’ve never been involved in politics before,” Greitens reminded jubilant supporters at his victory speech late Tuesday. He called Koster “the poster child for career politicians.”
Koster spokesman Andrew Whalen responded Friday by calling Greitens “a con man without the experience to lead Missouri.”
“The governor’s office is no place for training wheels,” Whalen said.
There are examples both pro and con on the question of whether Greitens’ outsider-themed primary campaign will work in the general election.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump rode that theme over more than a dozen opponents with deep political résumés to win the GOP primary. But he is currently polling badly against Democrat Hillary Clinton — the epitome of an establishment candidate — and many analysts blame missteps caused in part by his inexperience.
On the other hand, there is neighboring Illinois, which, despite being a generally more liberal state than Missouri, elected in 2014 Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, a businessman who campaigned on the fact that he had zero previous political experience.
Greitens “was very successful in turning out new voters to the Republican primary” because of that outsider appeal, said Hanaway. “I think he captured the same spirit of people being very angry that Donald Trump has captured.”
If Greitens’ victory was fueled by today’s unusual disdain among the public for political experience, political money had a bigger role than ever. While Greitens on election night touted what he called his “grass-roots” campaign, it was, financially speaking, anything but. He spent more than $8 million to win the primary, most of it raised by big-money donors from outside Missouri.
“His campaign raised an overwhelming amount of money” while still managing to keep the “political outsider” label in place, noted Kinder. “Those two factors loomed very large in the results.”
Kinder and Hanaway both said they are at peace with the primary election outcome.
“I’ve got no regrets, none at all,” said Kinder, who will finish his third term as lieutenant governor in January. “I ran a positive campaign that addressed issues.”
He added: “I’m enjoying a respite right now. I will tell you the feeling of relief that came over me (by) Thursday is enormous. … The relentless pressure of the campaign and fundraising is off.”
Kinder said he hasn’t decided what he will do next. “I’m certain that God has something in mind for me,” he said.
Hanaway, who had been an attorney in private practice before the campaign, said she will return to that life.
“I’m so pleased that there were so many young women active in our campaign,” she said. Like Kinder, she said she intends to continue working for Republican causes.
Brunner’s campaign didn’t respond to a request for an interview Friday.
© 2016 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
My brother earned the Medal of Honor for saving countless lives — but only after he was left for dead
"As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night."
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Air Force Master Sgt. John "Chappy" Chapman is my brother. As one of an elite group, Air Force Combat Control — the deadliest and most badass band of brothers to walk a battlefield — John gave his life on March 4, 2002 for brothers he never knew.
They were the brave men who comprised a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) that had been called in to rescue the SEAL Team 6 team (Mako-30) with whom he had been embedded, which left him behind on Takur Ghar, a desolate mountain in Afghanistan that topped out at over 10,000 feet.
As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night. After many delays, the mission should and could have been pushed one day, but Szymanski ordered the team to proceed as planned, and Britt "Slab" Slabinski, John's team leader, fell into step after another SEAL team refused the mission.
But the "plan" went even more south when they made the rookie move to insert directly atop the mountain — right into the hands of the bad guys they knew were there.
Sen. Rick Scott is backing a bipartisan bill that would allow service members to essentially sue the United States government for medical malpractice if they are injured in the care of military doctors.
The measure has already passed the House and it has been introduced in the Senate, where Scott says he will sign on as a co-sponsor.
"As a U.S. Senator and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, taking care of our military members, veterans and their families is my top priority," the Florida Republican said in a statement.
Little girls everywhere will soon have the chance to play with a set of classic little green Army soldiers that actually reflect the presence of women in the armed forces.
Russia established an air base in the Syrian city where withdrawing US troops were pelted with potatoes
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia landed attack helicopters and troops at a sprawling air base in northern Syria vacated by U.S. forces, the Russian Defence Ministry's Zvezda TV channel said on Friday.
On Thursday, Zvezda said Russia had set up a helicopter base at an airport in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli, a move designed to increase Moscow's control over events on the ground there.
Qamishli is the same city where Syrian citizens pelted U.S. troops and armored vehicles with potatoes after President Donald Trump vowed to pull U.S. troops from Syria.