Inspiration behind ‘Ides of March’ ran through South Dakota

The fall’s must-see political movie has direct ties to the Mount Rushmore state.

A former aide to Sen. Tom Daschle – Jay Carson – is the inspiration behind the political operatives in the film, at least in part.

This fall's required cinema viewing for political junkies has ties to the Mount Rushmore state.

In a story reported from the Toronto Film Festival, George Clooney downplays connections to disgraced presidential would-be John Edwards. But the Jay Carson angle gets played up.

As for the Morris handlers – Stephen Myers, played by Ryan Gosling, and Paul Zara, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman – it is impossible not to find traces of the political strategist Jay Carson. …

One of the film’s core conflicts, Carson acknowledged, matches a moment in his own life, when he was the press secretary to Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and declined a position with Hillary Rodham Clinton, then the hottest ticket in Democratic politics.

I used to speak to Carson almost daily, back during the days surrounding the 2002 Tim Johnson-John Thune Senate race. He was Daschle’s press contact for South Dakota reporters, but it was clear he was someone who would be a political player of some import.

The former press aide for Tom Daschle has risen all the way to a George Clooney movie.

He’s since worked for Howard Dean, the LA Mayor Antonio  Villaraigosa, Hillary. He’s now the executive director of the C40 Clinton Climate Initiative.

But, look, he has risen to even greater heights – a George Clooney movie!