Republican Sen. Christopher S. 'Kit' Bond is no stranger to vice presidential speculation. The former Missouri governor, the best-known public figure in the 'Show Me' state, was considered for the No. 2 spot as far back as 1976.
President Ford included Bond, the governor of Missouri for 14 years, among his list of possible vice presidential nominees 12 years ago.
But Bond was embarrassed at the GOP state convention where loser Ronald Reagan won 18 of the 19 delegates over Ford.
The 49-year-old Bond, the only freshman Republican in the Senate, now is being mentioned as a possible vice presidential running mate for George Bush.
Bond's critics say he lacks imagination but is honest.
'Basic honesty ought to be a beginning point of government service,' Bond once said following the Watergate scandal. 'We had to go some distance to get there.'
Bond defeated Gov. Warren E. Hearnes in 1972 and moved from the state auditor's office into the governor's mansion at the age of 33.
Bond cited as his major accomplishment the reorganization of the executive branch. He persuaded the legislature to consolidate 80 offices and agencies into 13 departments.
Still, he was upset in 1976 by Democrat Jospeh P. Teasdale, who made campaign issues of Bond's defense of President Nixon and his appointments to a state agency that regulated utilities.
But Teasdale's deficiencies as a politician and administrator helped Bond to win a second term -- the maximum allowed in Missouri -- in 1980. He left office in 1984 to run for the Senate and was elected in 1986.
Born in St. Louis March 6, 1939, Bond was raised a sixth generation Missourian in Mexico, Mo.
His grandfather, the late A.P. Green, founded a refractories company that produced a considerable family fortune. When he was elected governor, Bond placed his assets in a blind trust, disclosing his net worth at about $700,000 in 1974.
He earned a degree from Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1960. Bond graduated first in his class and was named outstanding class member in 1963 at the University of Virginia School of Law.
After law school, Bond was a clerk with the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. From 1964 to 1967, he was a partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm of Covington and Burling.
He returned to Mexico, Mo., to practice law in 1967 and entered politics in 1969, unsuccessfully opposing Rep. William Hungate.
Bond served as an assistant attorney general under Republican John C. Danforth, now the senior senator from Missouri.
Bond resigned to run for state auditor in 1970, winning by over 200,000 votes, the largest margin by which a Republican had been elected in Missouri at that time.
Bond and Carolyn Reid of Owensboro, Ky., were married on May 13, 1967, in Lexington, Ky. They have no children.