Sen. John Ashcroft

InterviewPhotos  |  Senate Office  |  Legislation  |  Vote Smart  |  Spirit of America PAC  |  American Values PAC  |  Spirit of America Finances  |  Unofficial Site   |  Transcript of Jan. 5 Speech

On January 5, 1999 Ashcroft told supporters gathered at the Boys and Girls Club in Springfield, MO that he has chosen to focus on his Senate duties rather than pursuing a presidential bid. 


John Ashcroft, Republican, of Springfield, Missouri.
Current U.S. Senator from Missouri.  Elected in 1994, up for re-election in 2000.  Serves on Judiciary Committee (chairs Constitution, Federalism and Property Rights subcommittee), Commerce Committee (chairs Consumer Affairs, Foreign Commerce and Tourism subcommittee), and Foreign Relations Committee (chairs African Affairs subcommittee).   
Chairman of Spirit of America PAC, founded in August 1997.     
Chairman of American Values PAC, founded July 1998. 
Career Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994, carrying all 115 counties (Ashcroft 60%-Wheat 36%). 
Ran unsuccessfully for chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1993.   
Attorney at law, Suelthaus and Kaplan, 1993.   
Elected Governor of Missouri in 1984, served two terms, 1985-93.   
Elected attorney general in 1976, served two terms, 1977-85.   
Assistant attorney general, 1975-76.   
Appointed state auditor in 1973; unsuccessfuly sought election to the post in 1974 (served 1973-75).   
Ran unsuccessfully for U.S. House in 1972.   
Taught business law at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, 1967-72.   
Activities Singing and songwriting; Ashcroft is the baritone voice of the Singing Senators quartet.   
Author of Lessons: From a Father to a Son (Thomas Nelson Publishers, May 1998). 
Co-author, with wife Janet, of two college textbooks. 
Education Yale University, A.B. with honors, 1964.  University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1967.   
Family Wife Janet (Elise Roede) is a business law professor at Howard University.  Three children: Martha Patterson, Jay, and Andrew.   
Religion Assembly of God.    
Age 56 years old.  Born May 9, 1942 in Chicago.  Raised in Springfield, MO.  Father was a pastor and president of several colleges.    
Recreation Water sports. 

Eliza Newlin Carney. "Preaching to the Converted." National Journal, May 16, 1998, 1108-1111. 

John J. Miller. "Mr. Clean." National Review, March 23, 1998. 

Bob Jones IV. "Sackcloth & Ashcroft." World, October 11, 1997. >

by John Ashcroft 
Lessons: From a Father to His Son--Thomas Nelson Publishers (Nashville, Tenn.), May 1998. 

"A New Beginning: An Economic Plan for the Next American Century" at The Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC--Sept. 25, 1998. (pdf)> 

    Ashcroft released a fairly substantial economic plan on Aug. 26, 1998. His American Values PAC ran TV ads promoting the plan in Iowa and NH in late August and early September.  The Ashcroft plan had five elements: restructure and reduce the tax system, downsize government, pay off the national debt, open markets, and unleash the information economy.  Ashcroft closed his speech with an inspirational poem he had written. 
"Great Necessities, Great Virtues" at Harris County Republican Party Annual Convention, Houston, TX--March 28, 1998. > 
    Ashcroft used the "Great Necessities, Great Virtues" theme in speeches throughout the first part of 1998.  It appeared in his CPAC speech of Jan. 30 and his speech to the South Carolina GOP State Convention on May 16.  In the Ashcroft formulation great necessities (bold leadership, moral conviction, and vision) and great virtues (honesty, principle and courage) will produce great opportunities. Ashcroft produced the sonogram of his  grandson in many of his speeches during 1998.
"Our Highest and Best" at Christian Coalition's Road to Victory '97, Atlanta, GA--September 13, 1997. > 
    Ashcroft began a concerted effort to test the waters for a possible presidential bid in August/September 1997.  The Christian Coalition provided a key base of support.  In this speech Ashcroft called for "leadership that calls America to her highest and best, rather than accomodating her at her lowest and least;" a sentiment he repeated in speeches during the following year-plus of travels around the country.

Copyright 1998, 1999  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.                         Page archived January 1999.