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Profile of Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri

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Profile of Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri

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Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri:

Claire McCaskill was first elected in November 2006 as U.S. senator from Missouri, beating out the conservative Republican incumbent Sen. Jim Talent in a very close election that hinged, in part, of McCaskill's strong support of embryonic stem cell research. Sen McCaskill was reelected to the U.S. Senate in 2012.

Sen. McCaskill has served in public office since 1982, except for two years in private legal practice. She was national co-chair of the 2008 Obama for President campaign.

Special Notability:

Claire McCaskill first came to national prominence, during her 2006 U.S. Senate campaign, due to her support of a state proposition to allow embryonic stem cell research, as well as her support of controversial ads featuring Parkinsons-sufferer actor Michael J. Fox.

In January 2008, Claire McCaskill became the first female U.S. senator to endorse Barack Obama for the presidency, and soon after, was named as a national co-chair of his 2008 campaign for the White House.

Experience Prior to the Senate:

  • 1982-1988 - Missouri State house of representatives
  • 1989 - 1991 - Attorney in private practice in Kansas City, MO
  • 1992-1998 - Jackson County prosecutor
  • 1998-2006 - Missouri State auditor
Claire McCaskill made an unsuccessful gubernatorial run in 2004.

Sen. McCaskill on the Issues:

Sen. Claire McCaskill has been consistently pro-choice, pro-stem cell research and anti-Iraq War. But she's opposed to gay marriage, and, since her days as a tough county prosecutor, is pro-death penalty.

She was elected by Missourians to the Senate on a platform that embraced labor union concerns and appealed to economic populists, including a raise in the minimum wage . She has expressed concerns about, and voted against, U.S. free trade agreements and liberalized immigration reform.

Senate Committees in 112th Congress, 2011-2012:

  • Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee
  • Armed Services Committee
  • Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee
  • Special Committee on Aging

Personal Data:

  • Birth - July 24, 1953 in Rolla, Missouri to William and Betty McCaskill
  • Education - Hickman High School in Columbia,Mo.; B.A. in political science, University of Missouri, 1975; J.D. University of Missouri, 1978.
  • Family - Married in 2002 to second husband, St. Louis businessman Joseph Shepard. Three children: Austin, Maddie and Lily Esposito. Also four stepchildren.
  • Faith - Roman Catholic.
Claire McCaskill was a cheerleader and homecoming queen at Hickman High School. In college, she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She worked as a bartender and waitress to pay her law school tuition.

Claire McCaskill Persona:

Per Atlantic.com, Sen. Claire McCaskill is "widely considered her party's best new Senate candidate of the 2006 cycle." Her charming, pleasant style belies a seasoned and talented politico who has won 19 of 20 elections in which she was a candidate.

Active in speech and debate in her high school days, she won her first speech contest when she was a 15-year-old ninth grader.

Claire McCaskill's Parents in Politics:

Sen. McCaskill's father served as Missouri Insurance Commissioner. Her mother ran unsuccessfully for the state House of Representatives, and was the first woman elected to the Columbia, Missouri City Council.

Claire McCaskill's First Husband:

Sen. McCaskill filed for divorce in 1995 from first husband, David Esposito, from whom she was estranged several times, one year after he was arrested in a Kansas City casino on charges of possession of marijuana. Mr. Esposito was shot to death in 2005 on a Kansas City street in what authorities believed was a drug-related incident. His killer was never found.

Memorable Quotes:

About Bill Clinton

"I do not begrudge Bill Clinton's working for his wife, but the one thing I would say is really important to President Clinton to think about right now, because of the larger megaphone he has as a former president, he really needs to be careful with the truth."

---- January 24, 2008, per Atlantic.com

About Health Care

"Our current healthcare policies are primarily interested in protecting the silos of profit that current exist in healthcare. I don't know how we can look ourselves in the eye morally in this country with that many uninsured when we have CEOs of managed care companies going home with a $1.6 billion paycheck."

---- MyDD interview on July 17, 2006

About Embryonic Stem Cell Research

"Well, the bottom line is you are not going to get a baby out of a petri dish. This measure, which we don't have right now, strictly prohibits any kind of implantation of any cells in order for a human being to be created. So there is this bright line contained in this measure which we need, all of us want.

"On the other hand, we know that this kind of research provides great hope for cures for millions of Missourians and Americans. This is very important that we do not leave this work to other countries, that Americans have the opportunity to participate in these cures like they will in other nations if we try to turn our back on this important medical research."

---- Fox News interview with Chris Wallace on November 6, 2006

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