(WASHINGTON) — On the eve of her 60th birthday, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill sat down for a celebratory beer and an informal conversation with BuzzFeed’s John Stanton.
It was standing-room only at Jack Rose Saloon for “BuzzFeed Brews,” replete with a young Washingtonian crowd composed of Capitol Hill staffers, journalists and other Beltway insiders.
The 2016 presidential race was at the center of the discussion. McCaskill said she had apologized to President and Secretary Clinton for comments she made on Meet the Press in 2006 alleging that Bill Clinton had “been a great leader,” but “I don’t want my daughter near him.”
“It was not necessary,” McCaskill said, adding, “It was gratuitous and hurtful, and I have apologized.” She acknowledged that her choice to endorse Barack Obama in the 2008 election was controversial, but she’s now ready for Hillary.
“I couldn’t be more enthusiastic for her to be president now, and I can’t wait to work as hard or harder for Hillary Clinton,” she emphasized.
McCaskill also discussed the advances women have made in Congress over the years, which she attributes to more effective fundraising.
“I was raised and taught that it was impolite to talk about money, and I found myself in a career where I’m walking up to perfect strangers…and saying, ‘Give me a check with a comma.’ It’s a little weird,” she confessed, adding that the Internet has enabled a larger amount of fundraising in smaller increments.
Sipping on her favorite Kansas City, Mo., Boulevard Beer, McCaskill got personal talking about her “Brady Bunch” family, including three children from her first marriage, and her husband’s four children from a previous marriage.
“They all are willing to tell me when they think I’m missing the point or they think I’m off base, and in some ways they’re like my conscience,” she said.
McCaskill attributed her Obama endorsement to a conversation with her children. “They got in my face a little bit,” she said.
“It was impressive that my kids were able to crystallize the notion that I was worried about the implications of endorsing Barack Obama not because I didn’t think he’d be a wonderful president and inspiring for our country and do something that no other candidate could do for the United States of America, but I was worried about endorsing him because of my career.”
The senator’s children also inspired her to join Twitter, which she manages on her own.
“No one on my staff has ever tweeted one character on my account,” she revealed to strong applause, adding that her first tweet mentioned Antonin Scalia’s “weird hat” at President Obama’s 2008 inauguration.
As one of the more prolific members of Congress on social media, McCaskill says the key to good tweets is being “multi-dimensional,” which sometimes leads to candid encounters with her fellow members of Congress.
“I’d walk into Caucus…and [Senator Dick] Durbin would say, ‘Oh, did you have Taco Bell today?’” joking about her tendency to post on a wide range of topics.
The birthday girl most recently posted a music playlist Tuesday afternoon, aptly titled, “Hell Yes, I’m Sixty.”
A voice on social media “helps humanize all of us,” she explained, and as for the attacks, “Well, there’s just haters.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Ruth Brown and Lis Stewart, Idaho Press-Tribune
Shelbie Harris, Idaho State Journal