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Maddow: McCaskill Best Dem Candidate for 2016 if Hillary Bails

During her Thursday MSNBC broadcast, network host Rachel Maddow explored the possibility of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton not running for president in the 2016 election, which according to Maddow could fixed if Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) were to run.

In the tease segment for her later interview segment with the Missouri Democrat, Maddow set forth this scenario and explained why her forthcoming guest, McCaskill, might be an acceptable replacement for Clinton.

“OK, this is kind of a secret,” Maddow said. “We have a guest coming up on ‘The Interview’ tonight and I want to say something behind that guest’s back before they get in the chair and puts on the earpiece, OK? The most pressing and discombobulated question in capital ‘D’ Democratic Party politics this year is , ‘Oh my God, what if Hillary Clinton doesn’t run’ right? Everybody thinks that Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state, former senator, former first lady would be a prohibitive favorite for the nomination if she ran for president, right? Right. So what if she doesn’t run? For whatever reason, what if she doesn’t run, what would happen on the Democratic side?”

“Our next guest is here to talk with me about something totally unrelated to the 2016 race,” she continued. “Our next guest has never talked about being interested in president. But I’m telling you, our next guest — if Hillary Clinton didn’t run, our next guest would give the Democratic Party the best chance of all other possible candidates of actually winning the White House in 2016. I think my next guest would be the strongest candidate that the Democratic Party could run for president other than Hillary. Just saying. Don’t tell the person that I said that. We’ll have an interview about something totally unrelated. Shh.”

In the show’s next segment, Maddow broached the topic of 2016 run with McCaskill, to which McCaskill downplayed the possibility.

Partial transcript as follows:

MADDOW: Last question for you, senator. Feel free to dodge it. I know you’re completely committed to Hillary Clinton and her run for the presidency in 2016. If for some reason she decides not to run, would you consider running?

MCCASKILL: You know, I doubt it. I’m proud to be a democratic. And I’m not ashamed to be a moderate. And I do think it is important for all of the democrats to remember it’s hard for us to be in majority and hold the presidency if we don’t understand that independent voters in the middle aren’t really interested in parties. They want us to compromise and get along.

MADDOW: Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, elegant dodge – part of the reason I would think you would win if you ran. You’re way, way more conservative than I am – and I say that as an endorsement. So the country can feel comfortable.

MCCASKILL: They’re going to be screaming at you, Rachel.

MADDOW: I know, I know. I love it. You get screamed at equally from all side, part of what makes you a perfect candidate.

MCCASKILL: I know. I do get screamed at a lot, that’s true.

Watch “The Interview” Segment:

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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