Missouri Dem warns McCaskill against 'disloyalty' to Obama

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) warned Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillFacebook steps up fight against fake news The Trail 2016: Off the sick bed McCaskill: Trump and Dr. Oz a 'marriage made in heaven' MORE (D-Mo.) of "disloyalty" to President Obama if she should seek to distance herself from the White House in her re-election campaign.

Cleaver, who's seen as the likely next leader of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), cautioned the centrist senator of distancing herself from Obama, the way many endangered incumbents had done in the closing weeks of the 2012 election.

“Any attempt to extricate herself from him will be an act of disloyalty,” Cleaver told McClatchy in a piece profiling McCaskill's re-election campaign. “She will not do that at all.”

McCaskill is one of the centrist Democrats who managed victory in the 2006 election thanks to the headwinds favoring her party in that cycle.

Since winning, though, there have been signs that the Show-Me State has trended Republican. Rep. Roy BluntRoy BluntSenate rivals gear up for debates Super PAC hits Dem Senate candidate with ad in tightening Missouri race The Trail 2016: Presidential politics and policing MORE (R) easily secured victory in the state's Senate race this fall, for instance. And McCaskill might feel justified in running from Obama in 2012, since it was one of the few swing states Sen. John McCainJohn McCainGreen Beret awarded for heroism during 'pandemonium' of Boston bombing House passes bill exempting some from ObamaCare mandate NBC's Lester Holt emerges from debate bruised and partisan MORE (R-Ariz.) managed to hold onto the 2008 presidential election, while Obama was sweeping to victory elsewhere.

McCaskill has sided with the president and majority Democrats on a series of key votes. She voted for healthcare reform, Wall Street reform and the stimulus bill.

But on other issues, she's sought to assemble a maverick record. She led the (successful) effort to do away with the Senate's longtime practice of allowing members to place anonymous holds on presidential nominees. She has joined with Sen. Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsFunding bill rejected as shutdown nears Trump, Clinton discuss counterterrorism with Egyptian president GOP senators want immigration details on attack suspects MORE (R-Ala.) to push for legislation capping discretionary spending. And she's also long favored earmark reform, an effort to which Obama lent his support in his weekly radio address on Saturday.

“Earmark reform has been a lonely fight for a long time, so it’s encouraging to have others taking this issue seriously, especially among Democrats since I will be the only senator from my party opposing earmarks after the new year,” McCaskill said Saturday in a statement. “The bottom line is that tax dollars shouldn’t be doled out based on politics or secret deals, and it’s time both Democrats and Republicans join together to stop them.”