The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Claire McCaskill’s Sudden No-Fly Zone


There’s a lot on Libya in today’s Morning Jolt, but the Air McCaskill saga continues . . .

Claire McCaskill’s Sudden No-Fly Zone

One of my readers scoffed, “Sure, now that Claire McCaskill has to pay her back taxes and can’t charge the taxpayer for costs related to travel to political events, she doesn’t want the plane anymore.”

I would note, I’m unsympathetic to any lawmaker who finds flying first or business class somehow beneath them. What makes their junk so special?

Chuck Todd and the guys at MSNBC recognize the powerful symbolism at work here: “This is just the latest in a string of problems for McCaskill involving her private plane. This is a MAJOR problem for her — not just in how she used the plane, but that she owned one in the first place. The plane issue and her vocal support of President Obama during his 2008 will be her biggest vulnerabilities in trying for reelection in 2012 in a state that has trended away from Democrats. (Missouri is ranked No. 4 on First Read’s Top 10 Takeovers.) By the way, the NRSC has made a concerted effort to turn this plane flap into a major issue. That’s how campaign committees can be effective early in the cycle.”

Moe Lane recognizes a familiar pattern of Midwestern Democrat senators elected based on their humble, homespun, just-plain-folk style who suddenly go for the Trump lifestyle once they’ve been in office for a while: “As you can see, back in 2006 McCaskill vehemently denied any wrongdoing, just before she declared that she paid her taxes. Which she actually did not do in 2006; and has continued to not do since then. I know that this is just repeating Bill S. ‘s excellent post from yesterday, which is why I would like to point out an old Tom Daschle campaign ad below. You may remember it: it’s the one where he bragged about driving his own car to work . . . It came out after it was revealed that Daschle had avoided paying taxes on a hundred grand’s worth of free chauffeur service. The point here is that while it is not surprising that people lie to get to Washington and lie to stay there, it should also not be surprising that people are becoming more and more willing to bring up and keep bringing up those lies. Senator McCaskill would be well advised to think about whether she’d actually like to spend more time with her family: unsuccessful re-election runs can be mortifying, I hear.”

Jeff Dunetz at The Yid With Lid writes, “Apart from the obvious billing the taxpayer for trips that were her expense, and not paying taxes McCaskill staked her reputation on transparency and stamping out government excess, so this looks real bad. She even made an issue of the use of planes in her unsuccessful bid for Governor in 2004. According to Politico: During the crescendo of her primary challenge to Gov. Bob Holden in July 2004, then-state auditor McCaskill ran an ad showing an airplane circling around the outline of Missouri, slamming the governor for ‘taking over 300 taxpayer funded trips on the state airplane.’ When she ran for Senator she urged voters If my walk doesn’t match my talk, shame on me and don’t ever vote for me again. It may be time to listen to the Senator’s advice.”

Tags: Claire McCaskill


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