U.S. Senators Describe Moment They Were Inspired To Run For Office

U.S. Senators Describe Moment They Were Inspired To Run For Office

Illustration for article titled U.S. Senators Describe Moment They Were Inspired To Run For Office

Whether they’re a fresh-faced junior senator or a seven-term veteran, every cog in the American political machine has to start somewhere. We interviewed members of the U.S. Senate and asked them to describe the moment they were inspired to run for office.

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Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Ted Cruz (R-TX)

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“On my college debate team I would pick the most dipshit, indefensible positions and argue them until it irritated everyone in the room, so becoming a senator was the natural next step.”

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Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

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“As a teenager, I remember accidentally biting my tongue while eating a corndog at the state fair. It hurt intensely, but that was my first taste of blood.”

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Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

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“Someone told me senators ride the Cyclone for free.”

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Bill Hagerty (R-TN)

Bill Hagerty (R-TN)

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“I always wanted to see the big city lights in Washington and figured winning an all-expenses-paid trip via a Congressional seat might be my best shot.”

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Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)

Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)

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“Honestly, everyone in Wyoming just takes turns. There are only, like, 10 people that live here.”

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Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

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“Who’s asking?”

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Cory Booker (D-NJ)

Cory Booker (D-NJ)

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“After graduating from Yale I mapped out what the future could hold and I realized that, with hard work and a bit of luck, I could rise high enough to impress Rosario Dawson.”

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Mark Kelly (D-AZ)

Mark Kelly (D-AZ)

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“As a former astronaut who’s spent time exploring the dead, barren wasteland of the moon, I thought, ‘Maybe Arizona is doable after all.’”

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John Barrasso (R-WY)

John Barrasso (R-WY)

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“I’m a Senator?”

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Tommy Tuberville (R-AL)

Tommy Tuberville (R-AL)

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“I coached football. And Alabamans just want to Roll Tide, so what else am I going to do? Also, it didn’t seem that hard. The guy that stalked teenagers almost won.”

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John Hickenlooper (D-CO)

John Hickenlooper (D-CO)

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“As soon as I heard about the mistresses, I was in!”

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Bob Menendez (D-NJ)

Bob Menendez (D-NJ)

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“I realized from a very young age that the U.S. Capitol was nicer than my apartment.”

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Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Marco Rubio (R-FL)

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“I was in college interning Rep. Ros-Lehtinen. I’d just finished sending out a stack of contradictory memos, and I offered to stay late emailing generic responses to press inquiries. She looked at me and said ‘Kid, you’re gonna go far.’ I’ll never forget it.”

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Tom Carper (D-DE)

Tom Carper (D-DE)

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“In 1978, I walked into an open field and in a flash, I emerged with my hair cropped and grey and having won the 2001 senatorial election in Delaware. Oddly enough, the field was in Kansas.”

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Mitt Romney (R-UT)

Mitt Romney (R-UT)

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“Since I was a small child, I have always wanted to be forced to settle for Senator of Utah.”

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Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

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“As the daughter of a a veteran and a homemaker with a hardscrabble middle-class upbringing, I always knew my origin story would fucking kill in politics.”

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Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

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“I just thought it would be cool to die in the Senate.”

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Tim Kaine (D-VA)

Tim Kaine (D-VA)

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“I really liked the look of my name on a poster, and I guess people caught on.”

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Pat Toomey (R-PA)

Pat Toomey (R-PA)

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“Becoming a senator was the only thing I could think of that would come close to matching the high of owning and operating a regional chain of restaurants.”

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Joni Ernst (R-IA)

Joni Ernst (R-IA)

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“Look. I grew up on a pig farm in Iowa. And if you can castrate a pig, then you can do anything.”

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