Senator Bond sees great challenges ahead for the Congress he is leaving.
Bond retires after three terms in the United States Senate, leaving just as his fellow Republicans have made a comeback in Washington. Bond says his advice to Republicans is to try to re-establish the bi-partisan, working relationship in place prior to the 2008 elections.
“Much of the problems we’ve seen today came because one-party rule refused to listen to or accept any changes or even consider ideas from the minority,” Bond says.
Bond says all of his accomplishments as a governor and senator came through bi-partisan cooperation, something he says is rare in Washington these days. Democrats took over control of Washington in 2008. Not only did Barack Obama win the White House, Democrats took 59 of the 100 seats in the Senate and held a 257-to-178 majority in the House. The 2010 elections saw a dramatic shift. Republicans took back the House; standing now with a 239-189 majority with seven races still undecided. Republicans narrowed the gap in the Senate. Democrat still hold the majority, with 53 seats.
Bond suggests President Clinton’s shift to the right in response to the 1994 Republican gains in Congress should be an example for President Obama to follow, but he’s not sure Obama will.
“I haven’t seen anything in his make-up yet that would suggest he will,” Bond says. “I just hope he will learn.”
Bond says Obama needs to adapt to a new political reality.
“He’s a smart man. He’s a skilled orator. He is a very powerful communicator,” according to Bond, “but, I hope he will follow Bill Clinton’s advice and listen.”
Republicans kept Bond’s seat. Republican Roy Blunt, a Congressman from southwest Missouri, won the US Senate race against Democrat Robin Carnahan, the Secretary of State.