Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill expressed both her love for and frustration with her colleagues Thursday as she gave her formal farewell speech to the Senate.
The Democrat lost her bid for a third term in November, and will be replaced by Republican Josh Hawley, who is currently Missouri’s attorney general.
McCaskill’s voice quivered at times as she thanked her family, constituents and colleagues for support during her eight years in the chamber. The speech also contained a warning about the Senate’s direction, if changes aren’t made in how it functions.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t worried about this place, it just doesn’t work as well as it used to,” she said. “The Senate has been so enjoyable to me, but I must admit it puts the fun in dysfunction.”
Despite the criticism, McCaskill’s colleagues spoke fondly of her on the Senate floor after the speech. Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt said the state had benefited from her service. McCaskill won her first election in 1982 to serve in the state House for Kansas City and later was the Jackson County Prosecutor and state auditor.
Samuel King is the Missouri government and politics reporter at KCUR 89.3. Follow him on Twitter: @SamuelKingNews.