Sen. Claire McCaskill believes that a member of Congress should meet with the home folks, face to face, and that’s why she is holding Town Hall meetings across the state. She held her 46th in Washington Wednesday.
The two-term U.S. senator, a Democrat, is up for re-election next year and has a head start in campaigning against the announced or still-to-be announced candidates in either party.
Yes, her visit here and in other cities in the state could be called campaigning — no doubt about that. But she also brought the federal government closer to the people in Washington and Franklin County. Her answers to questions were frank, factual, to the point and her experience and knowledge of issues is impressive.
Sen. McCaskill does her homework on issues and no one in the congressional circle works harder than she does. She fights for what she believes in and for Missourians. She doesn’t back away from people who oppose her. The fact is she is happy to meet with them and discuss their differences. She believes Town Hall meetings are a good way to meet and talk to voters and to explain her position on issues. She is a firm believer in bipartisanship and like other veterans of the Senate and House, says that the best legislation results from agreement by both parties on a bill.
We certainly agree with her when she said there are too many “dumb” regulations. She said she would like to see voting on Fridays, Saturdays and a few hours on Sundays, and “we should be spending time on how to get more people to vote.” The senator said Congress should reform and improve on Obamacare. And another issue, she said, Congress should make post offices, especially in rural areas, more efficient.
She explained that she enjoys the Town Hall meetings and even going where she is not popular. “I learn a lot by listening,” Sen. McCaskill said. The concerns generally are the same but vary by sections of the state. The veteran legislator in a meeting with the press after the Town Hall meeting said there has been very little “outreach” by Republicans toward bipartisanship. She refrained from bashing the president or his party. An interesting comment she made was, “Things are not as bad (in Washington, D.C.) as it appears to be and I am proud to be there.” That could be taken as a poke at the Big Media and its coverage of the nation’s capital. Too much negative reporting!
The Town Hall crowd at the Washington City Hall was estimated at about 100. It was standing room only. Many of the folks were elderly, but there were a few small children there to give it a folksy feel. It looked like there were more women than men there.
We were surprised at the applause given after some of the senator’s answers to the questions, which were written out beforehand by members of the audience. Also, members of the audience nodded in approval to some of the things she said.
Sen. McCaskill said some of the elected officials in Washington, D.C., duck under their desks rather than get out to talk to voters. Fightin’ Claire is out meeting friends and enemies!