Gillibrand having anxiety dreams due to Trump
When I first meet Gillibrand, it’s two and a half weeks after the inauguration, and she is rattled. “I have had so many anxiety dreams,” she says. “Constant anxiety dreams.” She describes waking in the middle of the night, fretting over a friend’s daughter who’d tried to sell her Girl Scout cookies: “Oh my God, I’ve got to fucking order those cookies. I’m terrible! I didn’t respond properly! So at three in the morning I’m typing out this email,” pretending to have a Girl Scout cookie emergency. “This little girl is doing what she’s supposed to be doing, learning how to ask for the raise, and I totally dissed it!” Gillibrand says, noting that she is now getting nine additional boxes of Samoas and Tagalogs and that, yes, she understands that it’s not really about the cookies.
Legislating to ‘help’ people
In early March, Collins and Gillibrand filed legislation to protect seniors against fraud, and Gillibrand hopes to persuade Collins to become a Republican co-sponsor of the Family Act, Gillibrand’s big paid-family-leave bill. “I know Susan’s worldview is similar to my worldview,” says Gillibrand. “Which is that we’re here to help people, and if we’re not helping people, we should go the fuck home.”
Having ‘no clue’ when she first arrived on the scene
When she first got to the Senate and started working on the 9/11 health bill (which her chief of staff had warned would be a tough sell — people thought New York was wealthy enough to pay for its own), she relied on the women around her for help. “To pass that bill, I first went to my female colleagues and said, ‘How do I do this? I have no fucking clue,’ ” she says. Her female Republican colleagues did not co-sponsor the bill, but they did give her advice: “ ‘Listen, if you pay for it this way and not that way, they can’t say no.’ ‘If you hold the vote, they’ll have to vote yes.’ They were whispering in my ear the whole time.”