|Senator Claire McCaskill|
The one-hour discussion was moderated by Vicky Russell from the "Columbia Daity Tribune." Index cards were handed out in advance for people to write down questions, which were asked at the end of the presentation.
Senator McCaskill and Mr. Gaineytalked about how the book came to be -- the initial idea and the writing process. He said he believed her story needed to be told in part because she is "a remarkable star and a Senator, who once was on a game show in Hollywood." He began collecting material in 2011, which included interviews and oral history.
Then, according to Senator McCaskill, "Aiken happened.” The focus of the book shifted to the 2012 election between the senator and Todd Aiken. The agents representing the book later told her they wanted a broader story.
She wanted to write something to let young girls know "it's okay to be bossy and have a big mouth," because she believes "women don’t have to be uncomfortable owning their ambition or not being likeable."
When asked if she'd do it again, she compared writing a book to having a baby. "The first five to six months are not so terrible, but the last hour is painful. Then you forget the pain with the joy of creation."
When asked what she might want to write about, she said she is concerned about politics today in terms of the breakdown of the journalistic model. She believes that journalism is searching for a business model. The senator would like to see a focus on expansive pieces with more investigative reporting; with reporters developing sources and writing in-depth articles -- for example, how Medicare for all would be funded.
When asked about her political ambitions, she said she is "irritated at Jefferson City and the elected officials in the state." To sum it up, she said, “We need to stand our ground in Missouri.”
This was the first time I'd ever heard Senator McCaskill speak in public, and I'm so happy I sat in on her session. I found her refreshingly candid and, typical of most Missourians, down-to-earth. Senator McCaskill was also intelligent and classy -- and very ladylike.