Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Raasch: McCaskill and the Power and Peril for Clinton Surrogates

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Raasch: McCaskill and the Power and Peril for Clinton Surrogates

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON * Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., has become an early surrogate for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, a volunteer job rich with power potential and fraught with political peril.

It gets McCaskill invited to top TV talk shows and makes her an early ally of the most powerful Democrat in a post-Obama world. But it also pulls the Missouri senator closer into the orbit of Bill and Hillary Clinton and the ongoing controversies and scrutiny surrounding the world's ultimate power couple.

The latest swirl comes from a new book raising questions about whether the Clintons' philanthropy and global connections also personally enriched them and affected Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state. The Washington Post this week reported that Bill Clinton had been personally paid, post-presidency, at least $26 million by donors that also gave millions to the Clinton Foundation.

McCaskill said her surrogate work "just happened naturally" and not by request from Hillary Clinton.

McCaskill's new role shows that bad blood can be transfused out of the body politic. She was on the Clintons' do-not-call list after endorsing Barack Obama in 2008.

Now, McCaskill said she will do what she can to get Clinton elected, convinced Hillary is the best next president for Missourians.

McCaskill was among the first to endorse Clinton after Obama was re-elected president in 2012. McCaskill's reputation as a newsmaker gets her frequent talk-show bookings.

Couple those with the political media's insatiable need to fuel the Permanent Campaign, and suddenly the Missouri senator is on national TV defending Hillary Clinton 19 months before the election.

On ABC's "This Week," McCaskill attacked Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who had poked at Clinton's political fundraising prowess. McCaskill said Rubio was "old politics" and accused him of folding "like a cheap shotgun" on immigration reform.

But that surrogate role also means defending the Clintons in their global-scale controversies.

Conservative author Peter Schweizer's "Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich," is the latest. …

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