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Talent Kicks Off Re-election Campaign

U-S Senator Jim Talent of Missouri was in Springfield today to kick-off his re-election campaign. Springfield was the first stop on a two-day tour that will cover eight cities. KSMU's Missy Shelton covered Talent's event in Springfield and talked with his likely democratic opponent state auditor Claire McCaskill.

U-S Senator Jim Talent says there was no particular reason for starting his two-day eight city tour in Springfield, though he noted the city's importance to his campaign.

Talent, a Republican told a crowd of about 60 people at University Plaza hotel that he's had several accomplishments in his first term in the senate...He discussed his work on two pieces of legislation: the energy bill and an anti-methamphetamine bill.

Talent says his likely democratic opponent State Auditor Claire McCaskill opposed these bills because of politics.

Speaking to KSMU by phone, Claire McCaskill says she had concerns about the meth bill because it was missing some key provisions she felt ought to be included.

She says she had a good reason to oppose the energy bill.

At a time when national polls show sagging support for President Bush and the war in Iraq, Talent spent little time talking about foreign policy and did not mention the president at all.

Talent responded to questions from reporters about the omission.

Change is something that Talent says has long been his campaign theme.

He's been in the Congress for twelve years...eight in the House and four in the senate.

But democrats say Talent hasn't made changes during his time in Washington.

Again, his likely democratic opponent, Claire McCaskill.

At today's event in Springfield, Talent did get help from a well-known Republican...Governor Matt Blunt criticized McCaskill's position on several hot button social issues.

Both Jim Talent and Claire McCaskill have websites detailing their positions on a number of issues: talent for senate dot com and Claire online dot com