I don't know how he did it, but my grandpa is very well connected. Sure, he can't call up Obama any time he wants to talk about sports, but he knows seemingly every important Democrat in the state. The first time I ever heard of Jay Nixon was before he became Governor, when my grandpa introduced him to me. Governor Nixon just a couple months ago invited my grandpa to one of the MLB All Star Games being held here in Kansas City, and he got some extra tickets for me to come too. We were expecting to talk to the Governor, but his son did surprisingly well in some golf tournament, so he went to support him.
He knows Claire McCaskill even better. Apparently her dad knew my grandpa for a long time. A couple years ago she invited him to Washington to visit and eat with her in the Senate dining room. My mom also worked under her when she was in the Jackson County prosecutor's office. When McCaskill visited my school last spring, I made sure to go see her. After explaining who I was, her eyes lit up and shocked everybody else waiting in line by giving me a hug. She said she remembered me when I was a little kid. Needless to say, I was extremely happy when I heard Akin shot himself in the foot.
He also knew Ike Skelton, who represented Missouri in the House from 1977 until he lost in the 2010 massacre. He was chairman of the Arms Service's Committee from 2007 until he lost reelection. Since my grandpa was in his district, it was much easier for him to come around more often, and I probably met him half a dozen times.
Although he didn't know him personally, my grandpa managed to get us into a speech Bill Clinton was giving in front of the Truman Library in my hometown, Independence. The two things I took away from that speech was that apparently Clinton is known for always showing up late, and that I learned exactly why he was able to become president.
So it was little surprise when he invited me up to meet the Missouri Attorney General, Chris Koster, who's up for reelection.
My grandpa lives in a relatively small town on the outskirts of the KC metro area. He always did these campaign events in the same smoke filled restaurant on the main street in town. On the way there we passed two billboards for Koster's opponent, Ed Martin, in which he said he'd repeal Obamacare.
As people were settling in, I happened to sit next to an old friend of my grandpa's. This guy had made a fortune distributing beer in Chicago, and his son is a movie producer who, the last time I saw him at least, was dating the supermodel Rosa Acosta. He apparently was only there as a favor to my grandpa, because he said he didn't understand Democrats. When I asked why, he said he didn't understand the equality thing. I tried to explain to him that we believed in equality of opportunity, not in equality of results. We believed that anybody who's talented and works hard should be able to succeed, but those who aren't shouldn't be guaranteed anything beyond the basics. He didn't seem to have much of an answer, instead shifting to how when he taught 8th grade a large number of students could hardly read.
Before Koster started talking, there was a little raffle. we didn't know what the prizes were at first ("I hope the winner gets to go home"), but my grandpa's friend won some chocolates. After the prizes were awarded, my grandpa started introducing Koster to the group, and his friend left with his chocolates.
After my grandpa's introduction (where he mainly said something about how our family had lost land to imminent domain seven times), Koster began to talk about his experience as a prosecutor, including the Robinson case. He talked about how he had spent most of his adult life as a prosecutor, and he would hate to leave the dozens of unsolved murder cases in the hands of Martin, who had no experience at all.
He then talked about how strong the Democratic ticket in Missouri was. He mentioned McCaskill and Nixon, but seemed to forget Obama was also up for reelection.
The most notable topic he talked about was how he had prosecuted the big banks and the trial was coming up. Some corporation in Atlanta had hired a bunch of college students to pretend to be vice presidents of the bank and sign a bunch of documents. This was good news to me, seeing how easy the banks had it with the federal government.
He opened the floor to questions, and somebody asked him about Proposition E, which would ban health insurance exchanges from being set up unless created by the legislature or initiative, and he said that we should try to set them up in the legislature, but the Republicans were holding them up.After his speech he shook some hands and then left.
On the way back my dad surprised me by saying he had known Koster a while ago. My dad's a lawyer, so he had dealt with Koster when he was in the lower level's of government. I guess the world's a pretty small place.