If Dick Gephardt met the version of himself from ten years ago, both of them would be embarrassed. In his 2004 campaign for president, Gephardt proposed a massive Apollo project to launch American into a new age of clean energy. Now he lobbies on behalf of massive coal companies like Peabody.
And of course, Gephardt’s longtime schtick was his working class appeal as a friend of labor. Now he’s working with Sodexo, a food services giant who is battling with SEIU over worker conditions and pay, to secure a major military contract.
It’s worth mentioning that as a big early supporter of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, he couldn’t help push Clinton over the top in Missouri. And in the Missouri Democratic Party’s State Convention, he ran a slate of candidates for delegate to the national convention, most of whom lost. Not saying his insider connections don’t help Peabody and won’t help Sodexo, but his influence with the public and within the party is waning, and I can’t imagine that his post-congressional career actions are helping.