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7 Things to Know About Sen. Claire McCaskill

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., center, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., right, are joined by retired female members of the military's judge advocate corps at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 25, 2013, to discuss reforming the way sexual assault cases in the military are prosecuted. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ASSOCIATED PRESS

1) Last summer, McCaskill endorsed a super PAC encouraging Hillary Clinton to run for president in 2016. From The New York Times:

Senator Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat and one of Barack Obama’s first backers in the Senate in his bitter presidential primary fight against Hillary Rodham Clinton, threw her support on Tuesday to the political action committee pressing Mrs. Clinton to run for president.

“In 2008, I was an early supporter of then-Senator Obama’s campaign,” Ms. McCaskill said in a statement on the Ready for Hillary Web site. “I worked my heart out to elect him president. Now as I look at 2016 and think about who is best to lead this country forward, I’m proud to announce that I am Ready for Hillary.”

2) McCaskill waited tables to help pay for college and law school. On the campaign trail in 2012, she went back to her roots. From The Maneater:

Donning an apron and notepad, McCaskill waited on various other tables in the restaurant as she had years before when she waitressed to pay her way through law school.

"They tried to keep me from carrying more than one plate at once, and I said, 'You think I'm an amateur here? I can stack them on my arm. Watch me,'" she said.

3) McCaskill appeared on NPR’s “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” back in October 2009. But it wasn’t her first time on a game show. She said on the program:

“Well, I got out of law school and I was so far in debt, and I had always watched game shows. So, I planned my first vacation as a young lawyer to go out to Los Angeles. I tried out for three or four game shows, got on one and was a four-day champion of the game show – the pre-cursor for Alex Trebek – a game show called ‘High Rollers.’ … I won a bunch of stuff: a trip to Italy, a fur coat, a diamond necklace – about $35,000 worth of stuff. It was great, it paid off all of my student loans to law school.”

4) After losing the Missouri governor’s race in 2004, McCaskill set her sights on the U.S. Senate. She beat incumbent Republican Sen. Jim Talent two years later. From TIME magazine:

Her victory appeared all the more dramatic because McCaskill had trailed Talent from the time the first results were announced, at 9 p.m., until shortly after midnight. But as the final votes poured in from the state's two major cities, St. Louis and Kansas City, McCaskill pulled ahead, beating Talent by just 42,000 of the 2 million votes cast.

5) Both McCaskill and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) are sponsoring legislation that addresses sexual assault cases in the military. Last time she was on “Meet the Press,” McCaskill discussed her views on the issue:

McCaskill shares insight on Senate's sexual assault initiative 4:44

6) McCaskill got a taste of politics early on. From The Kansas City Star:

Her dad, Bill McCaskill, was state insurance commissioner during the administration of Gov. Warren Hearnes in the late 1960s and early '70s. Her mom, Betty Anne, was the first woman elected to the City Council in Columbia.

In the McCaskill household, politics was a common topic of discussion. Growing up in the small Missouri towns of Houston and Lebanon, Bill and Betty Anne's four kids did the grunt work to help Democrats get elected in what still is a right-leaning part of the state.

Her mom would sit young Claire and her sister at a table and have them stuff envelopes for candidates.

"Whoever stuffed the most in 10 minutes got to use the sponge to seal them," McCaskill joked recently.

7) McCaskill – a prolific Twitter user – tweeted her reaction to news that former Mizzou defensive lineman Michael Sam was coming out.