The first thing you need to know about Missouri senator Claire McCaskill’s daughters — who were widely applauded this week for bringing buttoned-to-the-top collared shirts and red lipstick to stodgy election-night fashion — is that they are not the McCaskill girls. Their last name is Esposito. “My mom didn’t change her name when she got married,” explained 23-year-old Maddie, the one in the pleated dress. “Either time.” A recent New School graduate, Maddie left her job at a New York nonprofit this year in order to help out with her mother’s bid for reelection against pro-life extremist Representative Todd Akin. Lily, with the crown braid, turns 21 on Monday and is majoring in sociology and gender studies at Hunter College. After McCaskill's race became the most prominent electoral battle against the GOP rape caucus, Maddie and Lily gamely added “election meme” to their résumés. The Cut asked the sisters about Akin, their personal style, and fellow political daughters the Huntsman girls and the Obama girls.
Your mom's race gained national attention after Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" remarks. Did anything change for you after that?
Lily: Not really, because I knew he was that extreme. The country just didn’t know it yet. However, I really regretted my decision not to take a semester off! I wanted to be where the action was.
Maddie: We were just kind of stunned. The night he said it, my mom made me write down his statement on a notecard so we could memorize it together on the drive to the TV studio. We were afraid the media wouldn't report the full quote, which seems very quaint in retrospect. I don't deny that it changed the race, but I'm still confident she could've won, even without the comment.
How did you celebrate her victory?
M: Drank heavily.
L: This was the first election I was old enough to stay up with the adults, so it was really fun.
M: I like a lot of ugly things, like mixing three different patterns in the same outfit and wearing shoulder pads. I'm not a big fan of matching. There is nothing that can't be improved with a bold lip. The dress I wore on election night is from BCBG.
L: The blue-sleeve sweater and my pants were Theory. I found the top at Beacon's Closet. As for my style, I like dressing like a boy most of the time.
I read on the Atlantic Wire that you coordinate your outfits so you don’t look like twins. Do you share clothes?
M: Lily always steals my clothes, which I'm sure all older sisters can relate to.
L: Maddie and I do have really different tastes, but we still always want to wear each other’s clothes. There have been many fights over stolen items.
You both say you don’t have political ambitions, but I heard you came up with a really good political Halloween costume last year.
M: Ha ha! We dressed up as the Huntsman daughters impersonating Herman Cain’s chief of staff, Mark Block. [Editor's note: Best known for his smoking role in a bizarre campagin ad, remember?]
L: The costume was really last-second.
How would you compare yourselves to America’s other favorite political daughters, Sasha and Malia?
L: The Obama girls are flawless and way much cooler than we are.
M: I'd like to think that someday I could be as cool as the Obama girls.
Most Viewed Stories
The Ultimate Guide to Preparing for the Women’s March
Connecticut Politician Arrested for Pinching Woman’s Genitals
The Sheer Perfection of Donald Trump’s Golden Shower
The Obamas Visited Malia and Sasha’s Old Swing Set at Its New Home at a D.C. Shelter
Donald Trump’s Retweet Was Supposed to Praise Ivanka Trump, But It Tagged the Wrong User
Pakistani Pop Star Stops Concert When He Spots Sexual Harassment
15 Protest Sign Ideas for the Women’s March on Washington
I’m Anti-Trump, But I Refuse to March
How to Live in a 150-Square-Foot Studio
The Divorced Mom Who Cries After Sex
From Our Partners
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Love and War FeaturesA Holiday Season Weekend Through London
A good guide for avid The Crown fans.It’s About Time You Learned Tove Lo’s Name
The singer has crafted pop hits you’ve heard a thousand times by now.Marina Abramovic Has Outlasted Her Lovers and, She Hopes, Her Critics
The world's most famous performance artist at 70.The Wing: Do Women Still Need a Space of Their Own?
This exclusive social club for women, is part sorority, part start-up.In Virtual Reality, Women Run the World
A new generation of female artists is making VR the most diverse corner of the male-dominated tech space.The Novelist Disguised As a Housewife
Shirley Jackson wrote 17 books while raising four children — and she couldn't have had a successful career without them.Ava DuVernay on Hollywood Racism, Modern-Day Slavery, and Why She’s Still an Optimist
The director, whose new documentary The 13th chronicles America’s history of racial subjugation, talks to Rebecca Traister about Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and the modern criminal-justice system.What No One Tells Couples Trying to Conceive
It helps to be rich.The Hidden Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race
A segregated unit of mathematicians born of desperation during World War II became the secret to NASA’s success.Slut-Shaming Squids Are Everywhere
The “Bermuda Square” comic strip is back.
The collaboration that dreams are made of.Good Morning America Host Amy Robach Apologizes for Saying ‘Colored People’ on Air
She quickly apologized.Unknown NFL Player Tries to Get Attention by Asking Aly Raisman Out in Video
That’s one way to do it.Don’t Mess This Up, Mischa Barton
Marissa Cooper is poised for a comeback ... maybe.California Votes to Remove Time Limit on Prosecuting Rape Cases
In light of the Bill Cosby case.Beyoncé’s Behind-the-Scenes Lemonade Photos Belong in a Museum
She had the "Boycott Beyoncé" sign already in formation on set.The Rise of the Male Celebrity Full-Frontal
An ex-publicist explains.Gabby Douglas Will Be a Miss America Judge
The gold-medal gymnast will help choose the 2017 pageant winner.Camille Becerra’s Photo Diary of Rockaway Beach
An ideal trip to add and cross off your summer bucket list.Sorry Nerds, Ian McKellen Won’t Officiate Your Expensive Lord of the Rings–Themed Wedding
Not even for $1.5 million.