There are 20 women now serving in the U.S. Senate including Senator Claire McCaskill from Missouri. She is this semester’s Iowa State University Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics where Friday she delivered a lecture on the Ames campus. Her political career began when she was elected to the Missouri legislature in 1982 and says it was rough to run as a young woman. “It was difficult to be taken seriously because it was so male-dominated and a lot older. But now it's not that way at all.” During the senator’s lecture she praised the three women in the Senate who led recent breakthroughs on the budget, appropriations, and the farm bill.