The prank war started when Ben Nelson took advantage of Claire McCaskill's inexperience and got his fellow Democrat even more nervous about her 2007 Senate swearing-in than she already was. The action since then has been sporadic but inventive. McClatchy returns from Capitol Hill with tales of the lawmakers' dueling practical jokes, which have involved Barack Obama and college football paraphernalia.
A few weeks ago, inveterate jokester Nelson managed to have McCaskill's office covered with photos of himself and memorabilia of his own home state rather than McCaskill's native Missouri. "No stone unturned," Nelson said. "I just wish I could have seen the look on her face when she saw the Nebraska banner."