I called Senator Claire McCaskill’s office in Washington today to ask if she had voted to retain Joe Lieberman as chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. I was able to leave a message with Maria Speiser, Senator McCaskill’s press secretary. After a short round of telephone tag I was able to speak with Ms. Speiser.
I asked her how Senator McCaskill voted. Ms. Speiser replied that she had voted for Senator Lieberman. She added that her reason for doing so was to follow the lead of President-elect Obama – moving past the election and working together because there are a lot of challenges.
I asked – given Senator Lieberman’s previous lack of oversight hearings – if Senator McCaskill thought he would change his ways and if she was confident that he had done a good job as chair. Ms. Speiser replied that Senator McCaskill always encouraged oversight. Claire McCaskill is a member of the Homeland Security committee.
Finally, I asked how Senator McCaskill would explain retaining Senator Lieberman as chair to those in the grassroots who worked to elect Obama, all while Senator Lieberman did the opposite. Ms. Speiser replied that Senator McCaskill had worked hard [to elect Obama], too. Senator McCaskill’s view was that the election was over and we needed to move forward. Ms. Speiser added that President-elect Obama had also encouraged this view among senators.