An incomplete list of things it seems Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) would rather discuss than the President of the United States: health care, infrastructure, jobs, trade, the opioid crisis, gun violence prevention, education, drug costs, and…peanut butter. Granted, I met the freshman congresswoman at the start of September—a simpler time. And so we spend at least four minutes on peanut butter.
(She likes Jif. If she leaves politics, she would think about a next life in peanut butter entrepreneurship. And at her office, she stocks bushels of Virginia-grown roasted peanuts for visitors to take home.)
Spanberger is in New York with four of her fellow congresswomen—Reps. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Penn.), Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), and Elaine Luria (D-Va.).
The women travel like this a lot, a group less well known to the public than another squad that’s made headlines over the past 12 months. (It is easier—it should be noted—to remain low-profile when the President of the United States hasn’t made you the relentless object of his racist and sexist instincts.) Slotkin recalls late-night pizza runs. Houlahan is in a crisp, sleek shift dress, but promises she has a half-drunk bottle of minibar wine in her purse. Spanberger is deadpan and droll. Sherrill, the cheerleader. The women are at evident ease with each other. It’s not just that their principles and aims are similar. It’s that their experiences are; in 2018, each flipped a red district blue. All are new to electoral politics. And all five have had some background in national service.
The group has made the trip from Washington to New York this time with New Politics, an organization that campaign veteran Emily Cherniack founded to recruit and support candidates with experience in national service, from veterans of the armed forces to Americorps alumni. With that emphasis in mind, it’s perhaps no surprise that in an almost 60-minute roundtable with Glamour, the word “impeachment” isn’t mentioned once.