Four years ago, Barack Obama had no better friend than Missouri's Senator Claire McCaskill. When she endorsed him after his New Hampshire primary loss in January 2008 (with praise even the NY Times characterized as "effusive"
), she said:
“A lot of people talk about his ability to give a great speech. And there’s no question that he is truly gifted by God with an ability to speak to people in a way that touches them. To me, that is the whip [sic] cream in the cherry. To me, this is a man who has incredible intellectual heft, he’s a very smart guy with a wide soul who is not afraid to figure out a new and different way to tackle problems.”
Well, apparently the presidency of the God-gifted, intellectually-hefty, super-wide-souled Obama hasn't quite worked out as Senator McCaskill thought it would, and so -- locked in a tough reelection battle in Missouri -- she's decided to skip her own party's presidential convention.
It is hard to overestimate how important Claire McCaskill's support was to President Obama. Among other benefits, it sent the message that women needn't support Hillary Clinton just because she was a woman.
It speaks volumes about the magnitude of failure of the Obama presidency, volumes about McCaskill's own reelect oral struggles -- and, above all, volumes about the character of the President's once-upon-a-time biggest booster. She's made a career by talking one way at home in Missouri, and voting another way in Washington. Having enjoyed the perks of being for Obama when being for Obama was popular, now that her political judgment is part of the referendum on her this November, she's running to distance herself from her one-time best buddy.
She sure isn't a friend I'd want with me in a foxhole!