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Claire McCaskill has many titles: former senator of Missouri, ex-prosecutor, mom, wife, grandmother … and now, Know Your Value contributor.
The Democrat made the announcement on Tuesday’s “Morning Joe,” adding that she’ll also be joining NBC News and MSNBC as a political analyst.
“Welcome aboard. You’re an honorary member,” said Know Your Value founder and “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski. “I’m going to be tapping you. We’ll be going all over the country talking to women because you have so much to say.”
McCaskill’s tenure in the Senate came to an end in January, after she lost in November to Republican Josh Hawley, a former state attorney general.
As McCaskill, 65, begins her own career relaunch, Brzezinski asked, “What’s your advice for women who feel like their stock goes down, their value goes down, that they get disregarded after age 50?”
McCaskill’s recommendation: “Keep your sense of humor. You’ve got to know that knowledge is power; it’s important you know your stuff.” She added that work ethic matters and women don’t need to “overcompensate” by necessarily being “the smartest person on the block.”
But most of all, McCaskill said, it’s important that women over the age of 50 “have a place in policy debates, because of not just the breadth of the experience we’ve had, but also the perspective we bring to it.”
After decades in government, McCaskill continued, she is finally seeing “that women are taking their place at the table. That wasn’t the case when I began.”
The crop of new women lawmakers presents a major opportunity, she said.
“If we stay focused on the ‘macaroni and cheese’ issues … can you afford to retire, can you take care of your parents, can you send your kids to college … I think women have a lot to say on those issues because they are managing a lot of that in the household,” McCaskill said. “I think we can actually move the needle forward on things the American people care about.”
McCaskill also shared her advice for new women members of Congress, especially Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, whom Brzezinski asked about specifically.
In short: McCaskill prescribed action.
“[Ocasio-Cortez] clearly is charismatic and articulate. She’s got an opportunity to make conversation around some of her policy ideas,” McCaskill said. “But I do think it’s important that we remember getting things done is essential to getting rid of some of the cynicism out there … getting things done actually matters to all of those issues that we’re talking about.”