McCaskill should back Trump's court nominee
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill may find herself on the hot seat in the coming weeks over the fate of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.
McCaskill is up for re-election in 2018. By most measures, her seat would be relatively safe, depending largely on her potential GOP opponent.
To date, McCaskill has followed the party line in opposition to many of President Trump's cabinet picks.
But the Supreme Court nominee is far different from a cabinet position, given the lifelong tenure of those confirmed.
To oppose Gorsuch would likely bring out some top guns in the Republican ranks and paint McCaskill as a purely partisan politician - a label she works to overcome.
To her credit, McCaskill has called for a full hearing on the nominee unlike some other Democrats who have promised a prolonged filibuster.
Missouri is one of the target states for Republicans in the 2018 election based largely on the strong showing that Trump had in Missouri. He won the state by a whopping 18 percent margin.
If those Trump supporters remain united and if McCaskill votes against Gorsuch, look for a handful of well-known Republicans to consider the race.
But before Republicans get too excited about the prospect of unseating McCaskill, they need to remember she is a polished campaigner and has a knack for tapping into the concerns of most Missourians.
McCaskill, if you'll recall, was a very early supporter of Barack Obama in 2008, long before most mainstream Democrats jumped on board.
That keen eye toward the political winds is McCaskill's strength.
It's abundantly obvious that most Americans are growing tired of the opposition rhetoric of Democrats to every single proposal or policy of this new administration.
If the Democrats indeed try to filibuster Gorsuch, there will be a backlash that will reverberate until the 2018 elections.
McCaskill knows this growing sentiment and I'm sure that will weigh heavily into her decision on the nominee.
I have long assumed this anti-Trump movement would diminish over time but I am reassessing my position since it appears there is no end in sight to this partisan pushback.
When the dust settles, I would think McCaskill would support Gorsuch for two reasons; it's the right thing for this country and it is most certainly the right decision for her political future.