Ike Skelton's congressional re-election campaign touted his pro-gun, pro-life and pro-military views while also highlighting how he voted against President Obama's health-care overhaul. He's also been a vocal supporter of Don't Ask Don't Tell.
If you can't tell, and you probably can't given that politics is usually a black-and-white game, Skelton is a Democrat. Not exactly a flaming liberal that you can throw in the camp of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Well, you can, but that's just ridiculous.
Skelton's views are the views of his district, an area where just 38 percent voted for President Obama. You can see why Skelton would play up his differences with the president -- even if it meant alienating progressive voters.
Those differences weren't enough for voters last night; Skelton was an incumbent with a "D" behind his name. In this cycle, those were the politicians that you were supposed to vote out -- even if they've voted for your interests for 34 years. And voters in the 4th District did.
The election went to Vicky Hartzler, a former home ec teacher and state lawmaker, who The Kansas City Star says spouts nothing "vapid, by-the-book, ultra-conservative" talking points. That's change you can believe in!
The obvious blow is to Missouri's political power. The Show-Me State loses a powerful player on a powerful committee -- Skelton was chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. In Skelton's political obituary, the Washington Post highlighted how Skelton's military might was good for the state's military bases:
If there's a consolation prize, it's that Hartzler has been promised a seat at the Armed Services Committee's table. But a freshman won't carry the same weight as say someone who has served for more than three decades. But voters wanted change, and a vote for Hartzler was a vote for change. Some change, any change, just change. What that change is exactly, well, that's still TBD.An astute military historian, Skelton helped build up Missouri's two military installations. As Whiteman Air Force Base was losing its cache of long-range nuclear missiles, Skelton secured its future in the late 1980s by getting the Defense Department to place the new B-2 bomber there. After redistricting made Skelton the representative for Fort Leonard Wood in 1983, the number of troops undergoing training there more than quadrupled and the post's mission expanded from the Army to all branches of military service.