Kirsten Gillibrand Says Senate Women Waiting on Obama's White House Invitation
By Alexandra Dukakis
Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand is waiting for President Obama to host the ladies of the U.S. Senate for dinner at the White House.
In front of a small crowd at a Washington, D.C., bar at an event sponsored by Buzzfeed Tuesday evening, Sen. Gillibrand said that when she invited the President to participate in one of the senate women's quarterly dinners, he offered to host the dinner instead.
Gillibrand explained that when she accompanied President Obama on Air Force One for a trip to view the devastation in her home state caused by Hurricane Sandy she got the opportunity to have lunch with him.
"I went through my legislative agenda and things I care about," Sen. Gillibrand said over beers in the dimly-lit Capitol Hill watering hole with BuzzFeed's John Stanton. "But I said 'I have an idea for you, Mr. President. If you need a bipartisan success, [if you] need legislative success on a bipartisan basis, I suggest you work with the women senators as your core supporters.' "
When Sen. Gillibrand followed up with an invitation for the President to join one of group's quarterly dinners, Mr. Obama said that "better yet" he could host the women for dinner at the White House. While Gillibrand accepted the President's invitation, she says the dinner hasn't happened yet, telling Stanton that she has "been really calling every month [to say] we really want to come to the White House."
Women, Gillibrand argued, are better at passing bills.
"I think what the women have going for them is that they often will put aside party politics," she explained, noting that she has even been able to garner support for legislation from conservative New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte. Sen. Gillibrand told Stanton "we can find common ground even if [we] are on opposite ends of a political spectrum."
On the dynamic of the bipartisan dinner gang, Sen. Gillibrand said "We like to relate to each other as people, as just normal women who have the same job, may come from a very different political spectrum, but [we] are there to make a difference, and that commonality really drives us together."