Just watched Claire McCaskill on "Late Edition" with Wolf Blitzer, appearing opposite fellow Missourian Roy Blunt, the Republican minority whip. (The Blunts and the McCaskills, it turns out, have something of a political blood feud going on. Blunt's son Matt beat McCaskill for governor in 2004 and his father Leroy unseated McCaskill's mother Betty Anne in a 1978 statewide race. Wikipedia is awesome.)
She's not my favorite Democrat by a long shot. In fact, she's one of my least favorite. I could look up specific quotes or votes to defend my antipathy to her, but it's basically that she's further to the right than I would like. Entirely predictable, given that she was elected to the Senate from a reddish state.
But for what she offers up: a center-left domestic agenda served with heaping helpings of respect and admiration for cultural conservatives, she does it with a great deal of skill. Her pitch seems a little bit corny to my effete sophisticate taste, but not that corny. I can get over my innate distrust of someone so wide-eyed and cheerful because she's also capable of being sharp and convincing.
She was one of the first senators aboard the Obama bandwagon, officially announcing in mid-January, just after his loss in New Hampshire. This reflects both sound political instincts and the the simple fact that Obama's political style really is incredibly similar to her own.
With Obama still (and I hate the recent downtick in the national trackers) looking likely to beat John McCain on November 4, that's probably a good style to have. I can't say that I'm enthusiastic about the prospect, but if I had to put money right now on who the first female president will be, I'd bet on her.
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