A Big, Ripe Target

Posted: Nov 19, 2010 5:08 PM
If former Senator Jim Talent does, indeed, decide on a rematch with sitting Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri (as Guy discusses immediately below), he's got a big, ripe target for opposition research.

McCaskill is a classic stereotype: The kind of Democrat who talks conservative at home, and then votes in lockstep with Washington liberals.

As I was reading Jonathan Altern's book about Barack Obama (The Promise), I ran into an anecdote that encapsulates the obvious contempt McCaskill feels for the good, hard-working Missourians who voted her into office.

After his "bitter clingers" remarks about the people of Pennsylvania, Obama faulted himself only for a mistake of "syntax."

Guess what Senator McCaskill of Missouri -- an early, prominent Obama supporter (and just how early has been a subject of controversy) -- said? 

"Barack, don't use that word 'syntax' again.  In Missouri we think that's a tax we pay on beer."

Har har har -- get it?  Those ignoramuses in the Show-Me state think you're talking about "sin tax."  Not "syntax" -- that's a word only we elites would know.

McCaskill has been tone-deaf again this week; she said earlier this week that the intrusive TSA screening  (presumably including one at the ST. Louis airport characterized by the woman who endured it as a "sexual assault") are nothing more than "love pats" (before trying to walk the remark back later). 

Taken together, though, both vignettes signal a certain level of cluelessness and contempt that bodes ill for any candidate trying to win statewide in Missouri.  And obviously there is plenty of material out there for any Republican who chooses to take on McCaskill in 2012.