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Senate Women Strike Up Friendships With Bipartisan Bowling

Heitkamp, right, and Warren, left, both bowled Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Heitkamp, right, and Warren, left, both bowled Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hurling a heavy ball and hearing the crash of of the impact as you hit your target could be cathartic after a long workday, but it can also be a lot of fun.  

The women of the Senate took part in some bipartisan bowling at the White House Tuesday night, hoping to strike up more camaraderie. And, by all accounts, there were plenty of laughs to spare. “I haven’t bowled in more than 20 years!” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, told Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., as the two greeted each other at the top of the escalator in the Senate basement Wednesday morning. After a few laughs, they parted in opposite directions.  

Heitkamp organized the excursion to the bowling alley in the basement of the White House as part of the women’s quarterly bipartisan meetings. A different senator is tasked with hosting each event, and Heitkamp’s turn was Tuesday, so she decided to do something a little different.  

“I wanted to plan a fun dinner, and what could be more American than bowling — with bowling shirts included?” Heitkamp said in a statement to HOH. “Some of the women were better bowlers than others — I won’t name names — but everyone couldn’t stop smiling all night. That’s the kind of bipartisan camaraderie we need in the Senate.”  

Heitkamp also organized custom bowling shirts for the participants, blue for the Democrats and red for the Republicans. Each senator also had a nickname on their shirt. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., was dubbed the”Ex-Im Queen,” a nod to her support for the Export-Import Bank, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., was labeled “Next Door Amy.”  

Democratic Wisconsinite Tammy Baldwin was deemed “Cheesehead Baldwin.”  

“I always look forward to the bipartisan women’s get-togethers. Typically we go and have dinner together,” Baldwin told HOH. “This was fun to do something a little different. And I really think it is very productive for the smooth working of the Senate.”  

“We didn’t really keep score,” Baldwin said, noting the senators bowled for one another if someone wasn’t ready when it was their turn. “We were just having fun,” she added.  

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., tweeted a picture of the smiling senators, which showed 15 of the 20 female senators attended: 10 Democrats and five Republicans. At one point Tuesday night, the hashtag “bipartisanbowlingattheWH” was trending in D.C.

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