Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s campaign has a new ad out today, one touting the incumbent Senator’s supposed willingness to “work with anyone.”
— Courtney Rice (@Court_Rice) August 28, 2018
This sort of posturing is key to Heitkamp’s carefully cultivated persona. She’s trying to win, as a Democrat, in a deeply Republican state and so must tout her willingness to be bipartisan.
Yet in practice, Heitkamp isn’t really willing to work with anyone.
I’m not talking about her list of media enemies (including me) she avoids like the plague. I’m talking about citizen groups who just happen to take a stand on issue contrary to Heitkamp’s own.
“We haven’t been able to work with her for years,” Linda Thorson, the North Dakota director for Concerned Women for America, told me in a radio interview back in June (audio at the link). She added that her group is “not welcome in her office even to meet with her staffers.”
Thorson’s group is definitely right-of-center, and socially conservative, but she says there are issues like human trafficking where they agree with Heitkamp and would like to work with her as they do with leaders like Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, Congressman Kevin Cramer, and Senator John Hoeven.
“Don’t take a commercial as fact when [Heitkamp] says she’ll work with anyone,” Thorson told me in June.
“I’ll work with anyone,” Senator Heitkamp tells us ad naueseum in her seemingly ubiquitous campaign messaging paid for by millions upon millions in mostly out-of-state campaign contributions.
But she doesn’t really mean anyone. Certainly she’s not interested in talking to her critics in the media, or even right of center groups who say they have common ground with her on some issues.