Remember last month when the Senate's fight over how to deal with sexual assault in the military ended?
The issue sparked an emotional floor debate and several aides recounted that the months-long fight frayed relations between Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.). The two rising stars had led the debate on sexual violence in the military even though they differed sharply on key elements of the issue. Gillibrand insisted throughout that her focus was on the victims -- not on scoring points or one-upping McCaskill. But she took a dig at McCaskill in the closing moments of debate, a jab that McCaskill later admitted in an interview with The Post had "stung."
Now it looks like they're trying to make nice.
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) April 29, 2014
On Tuesday afternoon McCaskill tweeted a photo that showed her walking side-by-side with Gillibrand, who was holding an umbrella over both of them. They were leaving a White House meeting about a new Obama administration effort to combat rape and sexual assault on college campuses.
Aides to both senators wouldn't say who took the photo, whether it was staged or a genuine moment captured by trailing observers. But it doesn't matter. Nothing like this photo happens by accident anymore in modern American politics. And, if it does, tweeting it from a senator's official account is never an accident.
The message McCaskill is trying to send is clear: She's hoping to unite her supporters and Gillibrand's allies behind an issue that both senators care deeply about. And she hopes to erase any doubt about bad blood. Pictures are, after all, worth a thousand words.