Democratic rising star Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) spoke with about 80 students in Riggs Library on Monday night.
McCaskill, who is widely regarded by some political pundits to have presidential potential, addressed the crowd in an hour-long session, fielding audience questions for most of the visit. The event was co-hosted by the College Democrats, who made up much of the audience, and the Office of Foreign Relations.
McCaskill took classes at Georgetown in the summer of 1974 while interning on Capitol Hill. Today she is known as one of the most media-savvy members of Congress. McCaskill is said to be only senator who directly controls her Twitter page, boasting over 50,000 followers on the website.
Mark Stern (COL ’13), events director for the College Democrats, said McCaskill’s youth appeal was attractive to the group when they pursued her as a guest.
“Senator McCaskill is one of the most youth-friendly members in the chamber,” Stern said. “We felt that as young democrats we had a good chance of getting her, and sure enough as soon as we contacted her office they were really enthusiastic about getting her out here tonight.”
Speaking just a few hours after President Obama outlined his policy on Libya, McCaskill said she is “very nervous” about the conflict.
“My hope is that the length of involvement is very short, and the scope of involvement is very limited because we don’t know what is around the corner in that part of the world.”
In the wide-ranging discussion with students, McCaskill also expressed concern over an increased partisan gridlock in Congress, budget cuts and immigration issues.
The first-term senator made headlines recently after it was alleged that she had used $76,000 in taxpayer money to pay for a private plane owned by her family. On March 21, more allegations claimed that McCaskill had failed to pay over $287,000 in property taxes on the plane.
Last week, the Cook Political Report moved her re-election prospects from “lean Democrat” to “toss up.” Although McCaskill alluded to her tough bid for re-election during her speech, the tax issue was not discussed.