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Why McCaskill's Last Words Ring True

Joe Ranvestel

Posted on December 30, 2018 22:01

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As former Senator Claire McCaskill leaves the office, her parting words of cogent advice seem to fall on deaf ears.

In an interview with CNN earlier yesterday, Claire McCaskill talked about a wide range of topics covering issues for the Democratic Party. Among the topics included some advice for incoming Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The main takeaway is a bit of cogent advice for any freshman politician: "talk is cheap." Her advice, in a nutshell, is how hyped up rhetoric isn't fruitful compared to clear, tangible results. In the end, she wished the newcomer well in her future work. A reasonable sentiment, but viewed differently by Cortez. 

Taking some lines out of context, Cortez took to criticize the former senator in a recent Twitter post. In parts of the interview, the McCaskill referred to her as the party's new "thing," and a "new, shiny object." Instead of viewing the interview as a whole, and considering the context, she seemed to take these statement fragments, rather than the message, to heart. 

Of course, taking those at face value wouldn't be an unusual approach (and I do suspect some self-awareness on Cortez's part). Her meteoric rise can be attributed largely to her status as a young, female, minority counterpart to Bernie Sanders, in a majority, historically democratic area; her policy initiatives are hardly novel or tangible, and she has no actionable track record to speak of. From a non-party view, it does seem that she is viewed as a token to her own party. 

But assuming this line of thought is inappropriate, the rest of McCaskill's advice should be taken seriously. Facing fears of the party's alienation, the target audience she should be trying to reach, and the focus on results-oriented, objective goal setting are sound pieces of advice she offered to the incoming representative, wishing her the best of success. It seems that, even if parts of the message seem harsh, a rookie politician would do well to listen to the words of wisdom of a former, more experienced party member. 

On second thought, for Republican's sake, maybe it would be better if Cortez continues this course of action. 

Joe Ranvestel

Posted on December 30, 2018 22:01

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Source: NPR
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