Politics
5:25 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

McCaskill Returns To The Campaign Trail

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill is back on the campaign trail, attacking her opponent, Republican Congressman  Todd Akin for his stance on the school lunch program. It was McCaskill’s first public appearance since the passing of her mother, Betty Anne.

In previous campaigns, the Senator would often bring her mother up on the stump.

McCaskill said her passing has been “tumultuous."

“Part of me feels a little lost,” McCaskill said. "It was the first time I've walked out of the house campaigning where I haven't had the chance to say 'Mom I'm out there, I'm going' and she isn't giving me the 'I wish I could go, go get 'em.'"

McCaskill put her campaign events on halt while her mother was in the hospital. During that time, McCaskill said her mother was clear about what she wanted.

“She communicated to me very directly. In those moments, she said what are you doing here? Why aren’t you campaigning? What are the poll numbers? Why don't you get to work? Why aren’t you in rural Missouri?"

McCaskill will continue to campaign through election day, with the exception of Sunday, which she will take off for her mother’s memorial -- a decision she said would have upset her mother.

But McCaskill didn't only speak about her mother. At a school district in south St. Louis County, she attacked her opponent for his stance on the federal school lunch program.

"He (Akin) is someone who believes that the government is the problem. Now I don't think government is the answer, but it's not the enemy," McCaskill said. "And this is a great example where the federal government can get more value, can provide more efficiency and can get food into our children's nutritional needs so that they can learn every day."

The federally-assisted program provides nutritious meals for free or reduced rates to at-need students.

Akin has said he is in favor of removing federal involvement from the school lunch program, joking that school lunches will taste just as good if provided by the state instead of the federal government.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

    • See more stories on issues and elections from St. Louis Public Radio, the St. Louis Beacon and Nine Network of Public Media at BeyondNovember.org.