Commentary: McCaskill smart to question Obama about Walpin

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill deserves praise for holding President Barack Obama's feet to the fire over the dismissal of Inspector General Gerald Walpin.

The Missouri Democrat has been one of the president's biggest supporters, and she acknowledged she felt "awkward" criticizing him. But the former Jackson County prosecutor and Missouri auditor noted that the way Obama at first went about the dismissal was improper and had to be called out.

McCaskill last year sponsored a bill protecting inspectors general from partisan firings. No longer can presidents simply note they have "lost confidence" in a watchdog. The new law requires the chief executive to note the actual reason for a firing and to allow Congress 30 days to investigate the claims.

"This reform isn't about Obama; it's about keeping future auditors independent and free to prepare critical reports without political pressure," McCaskill said.

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