At least that’s the word when it comes to Senator McCaskill and the President-elect.

She was at Michelle Obama’s side at the second presidential debate. Behind the scenes, she conferred from time to time with the campaign brain trust, offered advice when asked and swapped occasional e-mails with Obama about how things were going.

She downplayed any special inner-circle status – “These guys didn’t need my advice.”

But any list of Obama insiders said to have the ear of the president-elect has to include the freshman Democratic senator from Missouri.

“She was probably the most reliable surrogate, even in contentious settings like going on Fox News, even in times when the narrative wasn’t even great, like the Rev. (Jeremiah) Wright turmoil,” said Josh Earnest, an Obama campaign spokesman.

The overall influence and stature is probably helpful for the state in the overall scheme of things (last time we had a Democratic President and one Missouri Democratic Senator was 1977-1981). She has her influence, and I hope she uses it in the right way.