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Maddow to McCaskill: You could win the presidency

Senator Claire McCaskill explains why she isn't interested in a run for the presidency and reasserts her support of Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016.

Tonight on The Rachel Maddow Show, Rachel asked Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) if she’s considering a run for the White House in the 2016 presidential race. The following is a transcript of that exchange:

Rachel Maddow: Did I miss some sort of Sherman-esque statement from you about never running for president? Obviously you're involved not only in Missouri issues, not only in federal issues, you're interested in what's going on with the Democratic [Party] more broadly and the Senate more broadly. Why shouldn't I be asking you if you're running for president?

Senator Claire McCaskill: You know, it's just kind of an awkward, awful question.

RM: If I were you, I would be running.

CM: Really?

RM: As the most centrist senator in the Senate, the way that you've run in Missouri. The issues that you have been interested in. The way that you've stepped into stuff that you didn't have to get involved in because you thought leadership was needed there. America's definitely ready for a woman nominee. If I were you, I'd be running. Why aren't you running?

CM: I don't know, sometimes people think me stepping in is more of a bull in a china shop, maybe? I don't know.

RM: We're not a china shop, we're America!

CM: I'm passionate and I'm not afraid to take a fight where I think it needs to be taken, but I also know what the process is, and besides all that, I'm all in for the first woman president, Hillary Rodham Clinton. So I want to be supporting her every way I know how. I think she'll be a terrific president and I can't wait to say, "Madam President" to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

RM: She has not declared that she's running.

CM: Correct.

RM: If she doesn't run, would you consider running?

CM: Probably not. I think that I've seen up close what those things look like, and I think I can do a lot of good in other ways to serve the state I live in and the country I love. But I think it's a hypothetical that we won't have to talk about because, I'll tell you what, if somebody wants to "betcha" on whether or not Hillary Clinton is a candidate for president, I'd take the bet.

RM: All right, I can see how uncomfortable this makes you. I will tell you, if I had to pick one Democrat who I thought could definitely win a race for president, it would be you. That's in part because you're considerably more conservative than I am, but I think you could win if you ever wanted to run. Anyway, I'll just leave it there.

Thank you Senator Claire McCaskill, I appreciate you being here.

CM: Thank you.