From a reader:
Ashcroft is from my home town, Springfield, Mo. He is a square and a dork but is also a real stand up guy. He is the guy, of course, who got beat by the dead Mel Carnahan. In that race, Ashcroft refused to campaign after Mel died. that bit of gallantry almost surely cost Ashcroft the race.
I have grown to admire Ashcroft over the years. He has been stoically steadfast in his defense of America. He has been treated so unfairly and yet he never complained, he just kept doing his job. He is a quiet hero.