Hillary Clinton is still playing coy about her presidential ambitions, but she nabbed her first congressional endorsement Tuesday morning, with Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill announcing she is on board with a Clinton White House bid.
The female Democratic senator wasn’t a Clinton backer in 2008, though. In Clinton’s last try for the White House, McCaskill was an early supporter of then-Sen. Barack Obama over the potential first female commander-in-chief. But McCaskill had been touting a Clinton candidacy earlier this year, and while backing the heavy frontrunner is hardly a surprising move now for leading Democrats, McCaskill becomes one of the first to formalize her support not just for Clinton, but for the super PAC that’s formed to build support and momentum for a Clinton campaign.
“Hillary Clinton had to give up her political operation while she was making us proud, representing us around the world as an incredible secretary of state, and that’s why Ready for Hillary is so critical,” McCaskill said in a statement. “It’s important that we start early, building a grassroots army from the ground up, and effectively using the tools of the Internet—all things that President Obama did so successfully—so that if Hillary does decide to run, we’ll be ready to help her win.”
McCaskill especially noted the group was critical in reaching out to Obama supporters, like her, in trying to build consensus. McCaskill, a second-term senator, won re-election last year in her conservative-leaning swing state race, where she was initially the underdog but saw the race change swiftly in her favor when the GOP nominee, Todd Akin, made a fatal gaffe on whether “legitimate rape” resulted in pregnancies.
“They aren’t only reaching out to folks who supported Hillary in 2008. They’re helping to show that regardless of who you supported for president back then, we can all agree today that there is nobody better equipped to be our next President than Hillary Clinton,” said McCaskill.
Since stepping down from the State Department earlier this year, Clinton has launched her own Twitter account, further stoking speculation of her future plans, and spoke last week at the Clinton Global Initiative in Chicago, her husband’s international philanthropy organization.