At the moment, the race for Missouri governor is a mess.
Sure, Attorney General Chris Koster has piled up $3.2 million in his campaign coffers and appears to be the clear favorite to represent the Democratic Party in 2016. But Republicans? That's a whole other story. State auditor Tom Schwiech's suicide in February has left the state's GOPers scrambling, and this week, Lt. Governor Peter Kinder revealed he is considering entering the fray. He would join former Missouri House speaker Catherine Hanaway, businessman John Brunner and a several other Republican lawmakers.
However, the most intriguing addition to the 2016 governor's race is arguably Eric Greitens. A bestselling author and former Navy SEAL, Greitens' gubernatorial exploratory committee has already raised $479,000, according to campaign records. Last night, Greitens stopped by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to talk about his new book, Resilience, while also showing off how good he looks in a suit.
Greitens' official bio is just ridiculous: a Rhodes and a Truman Scholar, he got his PhD from Oxford University and wrote his doctoral thesis on how "international humanitarian organizations can best serve war-affected children." He's also worked as a photographer and researcher in Rwanda, Cambodia, Albania, Mexico, India, Bosnia and Bolivia.
Oh, and he was a Navy SEAL. During deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, he amassed a collection of medals that include the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
When he returned from Iraq in 2007, Greitens founded the St. Louis-based nonprofit the Mission Continues to help link veterans with community improvement projects.
Despite his jaw-dropping resume, we should note that Greitens has yet to publicly describe his policy positions or intentions for the governor's office. Also notable is that Greitens is Jewish, relevant only because of the still-roiling controversy surrounding the alleged anti-Semitic "whisper campaign" that preceded Schwiech's death.
"It certainly could be that there are prejudices around," Greitens told the Jewish Daily Forward last month. "I can only speak to what I have lived, and I have experienced that people have been incredibly welcoming to me as a Jewish Republican."