Missouri Democrat Jason Kander is attempting to oust Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, but the young Democrat has a slight credibility problem with a review of old blog posts showing Kander lifted a line from the movie The American President and used it as his own to describe his distaste for Republicans.
Kander, who is the current Missouri Secretary of State, is trailing Blunt by about 5-7 percentage points in the polls, but according to RealClearPolitics Blunt has yet to hit 50% in general election polling of likely voters.
Before running for office, Kander served as an Army officer and in 2006 he deployed to Afghanistan. While there he kept an online diary, the URL for that diary is now his campaign website: www.JasonKander.com. One of Kander’s posts was reposted by an anonymous blogger in 2007.
Prior to coming back from Afghanistan, Kander was apparently disillusioned about the course of the war and in the post shared by another blogger he criticized both then-President George W. Bush and Republicans who agreed with the president’s management of the Afghan war.
“I’m a Progressive Democrat, so when I get into debates about the war with ill-informed, indoctrinated regressives [sic] who don’t know me well, they generally throw Rush’s talking points at me, insinuating that I love my country and support the troops just a bit less than them,” Kander complained. He went on to write:
“I have little patience for those who claim to love America but clearly can’t stand the majority of Americans. As a progressive, my beef with President Bush isn’t that he’s fighting a war, it’s that he’s doing it wrong.” [Emphasis added]
The text in bold is very nearly a repeat of actress Annette Bening’s line as Sydney Ellen Wade in The American President. In the movie Bening’s character tells the President of the United States (and also her love interest):
“How do you have patience for people who claim they love America, but clearly can’t stand Americans?”
In 2012 a liberal Australian politician parroted a different line from the same movie, and promptly (perhaps also predictably) blamed it on his speechwriters and staff.
Kander doesn’t appear to have had any staff writing his blog posts in 2007, and while the matter isn’t career ending it certainly merits clarification by Kander, who has heavily relied on his military service to distinguish himself in the Senate race.
Kander Blog Post: JasonKander