Friday's HOT MIC

Friday's HOT MIC

This is frustrating because it will probably allow McCaskill to repeat as Most Vulnerable Dem Incumbent to Survive Because the GOP is a Clownshow.

Women make up less than 10 percent of the Republican senators in Congress, and the GOP’s most qualified (and only top-tier) female hopeful just walked off the Senate playing field with nary a protest from Republican leaders.

Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner’s challenge to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has been one of the worst-kept secrets of the cycle. The third-term congresswoman, a former United States ambassador and onetime co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, had $2.8 million in her campaign account at the end of March. She had been doing everything a future Senate candidate was supposed to do, right up until Monday when she announced she was running for re-election to her 2nd District seat instead.

I’m not questioning Wagner’s commitment to her family or the community she mentioned in her announcement, but I’m convinced the congresswoman would still be on pace to challenge McCaskill if there was evidence that the Republican establishment was excited about the prospect of her running for the Senate. McCaskill’s re-election race is rated a Tossup by Inside Elections. Women make up less than 10 percent of the Republican senators in Congress, and the GOP’s most qualified (and only top-tier) female hopeful just walked off the Senate playing field with nary a protest from Republican leaders. Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner’s challenge to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has been one of the worst-kept secrets of the cycle. The third-term congresswoman, a former United States ambassador and onetime co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, had $2.8 million in her campaign account at the end of March. She had been doing everything a future Senate candidate was supposed to do, right up until Monday when she announced she was running for re-election to her 2nd District seat instead. I’m not questioning Wagner’s commitment to her family or the community she mentioned in her announcement, but I’m convinced the congresswoman would still be on pace to challenge McCaskill if there was evidence that the Republican establishment was excited about the prospect of her running for the Senate. McCaskill’s re-election race is rated a Tossup by Inside Elections.

McCaskill should have been gone in 2012. We did the year-end wrap-up show back in the old PJTV days, and when asked who the luckiest politician of 2012 was I gave it to her without hesitation. She won a narrow victory in 2006, and was looking like a locked-in Obamacare political casualty in 2012. Then an extremely fractured Missouri GOP (I've heard stories) decided to run Todd Akin, who decided to talk about rape.

Forget the diversity factor, Wagner is a quality candidate anyway, and would have provided a formidable challenge to the stunningly clueless McCaskill.