Claire McCaskill finally embraces Hillary Clinton for president

06/18/2013 10:29 AM

06/18/2013 6:17 PM

In early 2008, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri surprised a lot of people — and angered a lot of women — by not endorsing Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries.

McCaskill’s bold and correct choice was Barack Obama because, she said, he was “a gift,” a man unafraid to pursue new ways.

“I honestly believe that only once a generation a leader comes along who has that particular gift,” she said. “It will be a terrible disappointment to our country if we didn’t grab this opportunity right now.”

McCaskill spent part of the primaries complaining about the tactics Hillary and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, used in her political campaign against Obama.

“Hillary is getting away with a little spinning,” McCaskill said at the time. “She has beaten the press to a pulp about their ostensibly free ride they’ve given Barack Obama, which I think is not true.”

Flash forward: Obama won the Democratic nomination, Clinton lost, and Obama won the presidency in 2008 and re-election in 2012.

But all’s fair in love and politics, right?

This week McCaskill

made an early endorsement

for the 2016 Democratic nomination, saying she wanted Hillary Clinton to win.

It wasn’t a big surprise, frankly.

McCaskill has plenty of good reasons for backing Clinton this time around, beyond the fact they are both women and Clinton’s victory would make her the first female president in U.S. history.

Since she lost to Obama in 2008, Clinton has served with distinction as Secretary of State, before recently leaving the post.

As McCaskill said this week: “Hillary Clinton had to give up her political operation while she was making us proud, representing us around the world as an incredible Secretary of State, and that’s why Ready for Hillary is so critical. It’s important that we start early, building a grassroots army from the ground up, and effectively using the tools of the Internet — all things that President Obama did so successfully — so that if Hillary does decide to run, we’ll be ready to help her win.”

McCaskill made the right decision for herself and for her country in 2008 by backing Obama.

Time will tell whether she has made the same kind of decision when it comes to the 2016 presidential campaign.

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