Seems that most folks are focusing on Kempthorne’s abysmal environmental record, which just makes sense for a Secretary of the Interior nominee.
I had high hopes for Kempthorne when we was elected Senator, because I thought he was a moderate. However, he was totally a Larry Craig toady, mirroring Craig on every issue. Either Kempthorne really tacked right, or his true colors came out. He’s also had some fishy dealing regarding some land he ended up with near the Tamarack resort. So I’m no fan of his politics.
I do respect him for his support of the Idaho Army National Guard, of which I am a member. As we mobilized and deployed, Kempthorne worked to get local doctors to accept the military health care system, Tri-Care, which few did because of low reimbursement. The day before I got on a plane to Kuwait, Thanksgiving, and just a short while after he had back surgery, Gov Kempthorne stood on a cement floor for six hours serving Thanksgiving turkey and ham to our soldiers. He did not take a single break, although everyone else in the line did, including me. That night, about 0300, he stood at the base of the plane and shook the hand of every soldier. He did the same upon our return.
These may be small things, but they meant a lot, at least to me. When Larry Craig visited he simply hung with the general, except when a camera came around. Then he’d drop everything and focus into the lens. Kempthorne didn’t do this, I think because he has a genuine interest in soldiers.
Mcjoan at daily kos called Kempthorne “the emptiest of empty suits.” I agree with this regarding his politics, but I think Kempthorne does have some substance when it comes to supporting troops. Gee; too bad he’s not replacing Rumsfeld.