ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–She’s a force to be reckoned with in the Missouri Democratic party, but Senator Claire McCaskill says she has no power to stop a nasty primary fight between Congressmen Lacy Clay and Russ Carnahan.
“That primary gives me a stomach ache,” McCaskill said, “I’ve talked to both of them. I will tell you that anybody who thinks I have some kind of some kind of magic way to make this go away doesn’t understand how committed these two men are to winning.”
Over the weekend, McCaskill was quoted at the Democratic gathering in Hannibal, Mo that she was reaching out to both men and hoping for a way to bypass the fight. That led to speculation that McCaskill might be called upon by the party to lobby the White House to give Carnahan a face-saving federal post in exchange for dropping out. There is apparently no such deal in the works.
“Candidly, I’m not negotiating anything,” McCaskill told KMOX, “I’ve talked to both of them but I’m not negotiating anything.”
Handlers in both the Clay and Carnahan camps say they know of no deal in the works. A Carnahan spokesperson indicated that Carnahan is busy “focussing on his job.”
A guest on the Mark Reardon show on KMOX, McCaskill grimaced at the prospect of a bruising battle between Carnahan and Clay — a fight analysts warn could dampen democratic voter turnout in November when McCaskill and Governor Nixon need big numbers for their re-election bids.
Democratic party insiders say they see no solution coming from Governor Nixon, and no help from state party leaders who are in disarray after Executive Director Matt Teter stepped down last week amid domestic assault charges involving his alleged boyfriend.