It’s nice to look back on that because when you come to Congress, you’re really encouraged to do your own thing, think only about yourself and your district. But I think we found that we’re stronger when we’re together. And working together now these past few months, we’ve really defied a lot of people’s ideas about how congressmen and women are supposed to behave. Because in the beginning, we heard a lot of, “You just don’t do that.”
Sherrill: I remember I went to someone who I’d known from before I was elected and said, “Oh, should we all get together and talk about a plan for this? Think about where were want to go?” He looked and me and went, “It’s really generally every man for himself.”
Houlahan: It’s a dog-eat-dog world, absolutely.
Glamour: In that environment, have you ever checked in with each other after something happens, to be like, “Is this normal?”
Spanberger: Every day. Every single day we do that.
Houlahan: I keep a list of all that. Literally, I write them down, because I want to remember that this is not normal. I don’t want this to become normal. So I write down all of the things that I think are super offensive, or super broken, or super wrong, so that I can reflect back on them, and not become part of the problem.
Slotkin: We have a never-ending text chain between us, and that’s what we do. “Did anyone else get this set of talking points? Did anyone else see this bill that came forward that we’re supposed to be voting on? Does anyone else have concerns about how this?”
Sherrill: Or sometimes it’s, “Does anybody else know how we’re supposed to find a white suit in the middle of January?”
Spanberger: That one. That is a big one.
Luria: I ordered mine on Ebay. But Mikie has this Brooks Brothers suit that I like, and I saw it was on clearance. I was like, I want that suit, but what if Mikie and I show up in the same suit on the same day?
Sherrill: That would be amazing.
Luria: I could have just said, “It’s our Naval Academy uniform.” Who would have known?
Glamour: Despite your lack of experience in politics, all five of you won these difficult races and I presume learned a lot about how to win difficult races in 2018. How much do you feel that experience and expertise are respected now?
Sherrill: That’s great.
Houlahan: [Clears throat]
Sherrill: We were just talking about this. Abigail and I were just talking about this, because we had this sense—and at the time, we didn’t know how naive it was—that we could draw on our life experiences and run. And when we told people that we wanted to do that, there was a lot of, “Uh, sure.”
Houlahan: “How cute.”
Sherrill: Like, “That’s awesome.” But I think part of the reason a lot of us who are new to politics were able to get in and flip these districts is because people who had been in politics for a while just didn’t see the path. We were so engaged in our neighborhoods and with people throughout our communities that we knew something different was happening. I could feel it in my town, talking to moms in the car line. Hundreds of people came to an event for civic education. We could sense a shift. And then… Well, Elissa has the best line on this.