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If Obama Loses Claire McCaskill...

12:13 PM, Jul 13, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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The outlook for cap and trade in the Senate is bleak:

President Barack Obama's plan for climate change legislation faces an extraordinarily tough climb in the Senate. For proof, look no further than to some of Obama's closest allies.

"We've got to be very careful with what we do with this legislation," Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), a near-constant cable surrogate during Obama's presidential campaign, told Missouri talk radio show host Mike Ferguson last week. "We need to be a leader in the world, but we don't want to be a sucker."

For vulnerable House Democrats who voted in favor of cap and trade, this is the realization of their worst fear. Cap and trade was a tough vote, and many Democrats were only willing to go along with it after their counterparts in the Senate promised real movement on the bill. They weren't willing to take a tough vote merely to see the bill die in some Senate committee. So Republicans may get the best of both worlds -- blasting Democrats who supported the bill and bragging to their own constituents that they were able to kill a major piece of the Obama agenda.