ARTICLE

Missouri Senator says Democrats already have chosen Clinton as 2016 nominee

State could see 'less action' from 2016 contenders

Sen. Claire McCaskill
Sen. Claire McCaskill

Sen. Claire McCaskill admitted that she and her fellow Missourians are jealous of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status.

“Why Iowa?” she said at the Linn County Democratic Hall of Fame Dinner Saturday night. “We’ve got corn. We’ve got pigs. We’ve got people who want to be talked to over and over again. We have all of that. But you all have the corner of the market.”

But the second-term senator had some bad news for Iowa.

“You’re not going to have as much action” in 2016,” she said.

That’s because as unusual as it is, the Democratic Party, she believes, already has found a nominee: Hillary Clinton.

“When she announces, for the first time I can remember when we have an open seat for the presidency, we won’t have a primary and she will be the consensus choice,” McCaskill said.

McCaskill predicted she would be “the first of many to come to you and say to you, ‘You rose to the occasion in 2008 and nominated Barack Obama’ and in 2016 you will rise to the occasion and nominate Hillary Clinton.”

Of course, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer beat her by a couple of weeks with his “run Hillary, run” speech at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson Jackson Day dinner.

She wasn’t all doom and gloom for the precinct caucus faithful.

“The eyes of America will be on Iowa,” McCaskill said, “as you send the first woman in the history of this nation to the Oval Office.”

The county party also inducted Norm Sterzenbach of Cedar Rapids and the late Peggy Whitworth, also of Cedar Rapids, into the Hall of Fame.

Sterzenbach was recognized for his years of service to the party in several capacities, including as a member of the State Central Committee. He also has been a stalwart of the IBEW as well as other labor unions as a lobbyist at the State Capitol.

The honor was long overdue for Whitworth, who, Libby Slappey said, worked tirelessly for the Democratic Party for years.

“She was 100 percent, cut-to-the-chased get ’er done,” Slappey said, adding that for Whitworth if something wasn’t worth doing right it wasn’t worth doing.

Whitworth, who died last month, “was living proof that good things come in small packages,” U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley said in a video shown at the dinner.

“The long shadow from her short frame will continue to inspire us,” he added.

In accepting the award for his sister, Tim Boyle said that while pundits like to say “no Iowa, no Obama”“Well, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say ‘No Peggy, no Linn County, no Iowa, no Obama,” he said.

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