Culture


A new data point in the eternal debate over whether you should remain friends with your exes—yes, so you can hit them up for cash when you run for office.

Over the weekend, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) joined three women in the Senate, Susan Collins (R-ME), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Joni Ernst (R-IA), to discuss female representation in politics at a TimesTalks forum in New York. At the event, the women touched on some of the problems that dog female candidates—crises of confidence in the recruitment process, sexism, access to resources.

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Klobuchar added that women have sometimes found it harder to fundraise in legislative races, an issue she knew she’d need to be creative to solve in her own 2006 Senate race. So, she reached out to people she had a hunch she could appeal to better than anyone else. “I raised $17,000 from ex-boyfriends,” she said.

“When you’re running for office, the first thing you do is make a list of everyone you know, then ask them for support,” recommends Amanda Litman, the co-founder of Run for Something, a platform that helps recruit and elect millennials to public office. “That includes friends, family, friends of family, old classmates, dentists, and, yes, exes.”

Litman, who cheered Klobuchar on Twitter for her tactics, tells candidates not to think of it as some pathetic, last-ditch resort: It’s “the ultimate power move—you’ve moved on and you’re doing so well, you’re running for office.”

Listen, this is how it is now: In 2016, we wanted revenge bodies. In 2018, we want war chests.





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