Let me start by saying up front that I know Claire McCaskill. She and I are members of the same county Democratic party and we have argued, fought, hugged, and come to terms more times over the years than I care to count. That said, it should surprise exactly no one in Missouri that she is going to skip the Democratic National Convention. She didn’t attend in 2004 when she was running for Governor; nor did she attend our state convention this year, either.
But there is another angle to consider that no one has come close to touching on in the two hours since the news broke, and that is this: Her labor and LGBT support in KC and StL were pissed about the location. The convention is being held in a non-union venue in a state that just passed one of the most hateful anti-gay constitutional amendments in the country.
Skipping the convention was probably the politically-savvy thing to do — the distance might possibly help her outstate with all seven of Missouri’s swing voters, and the labor and LGBT communities in the cities will rally additional support based on their interpretation of her absence in Charlotte.