Can NY Swing District Stomach Stefanik’s Attack Dog Role in Impeachment?

Can NY Swing District Stomach Stefanik’s Attack Dog Role in Impeachment?


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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Before last week, if you were to mention the name Elise Stefanik, you would in all likelihood be met with a blank stare and a, “Who?” in reply.

What a difference a week makes.

Rep. Stefanik may be a young, junior member of the House Intelligence Committee, but she clearly has embraced her new role as defender of Donald Trump with enthusiasm.

She may be one of the most junior members of the committee, but Stefanik has not been shy this week in mixing it up with committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif) during both of the public impeachment hearings thus far.

Early in Wednesday’s hearing with two State Department officials, Stefanik interrupted Schiff to ask whether Democrats would be “prohibiting witnesses from answering members’ questions as you have in the closed-door depositions.”

Then, Friday, Stefanik tangled with Schiff over being recognized to address the witness, former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

These encounters have elevated Stefanik to become the new Republican rock star.

Stefanik makes for an unusual Republican attack dog. When first elected to the House in 2014, Stefanik, then aged 30, became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at the time.

She’s not exactly always fallen into Trump’s line, either. Stefanik voted against the 2017 Republican tax bill, she backed equal rights for LGBT Americans and supported an effort to grant legal status to young undocumented immigrants.

It begs the question how the folks back home in her upstate New York district will take this new look for their young congresswoman.

While, yes, the district did go for Trump in 2016, overall it’s very much a swing district having supported Democrats both for president before that as well as Democrats as their congressional representative before Stefanik.

Democrat Tedra Cobb, who lost to Stefanik in last year’s election but is looking for a rematch next year, definitely wants to make an issue out of Stefanik’s defense of Trump. She used it Friday as a fundraising tool on Twitter Friday.

If her bulldog role in defending Trump in impeachment does ultimately cost Stefanik her seat next year, she won’t be the first lawmaker of either party to get caught up in the partisanship of Capitol Hill and have lost touch with the voters back home.

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  • comment-avatar
    Krista Sparks November 16, 2019

    Here in NY21 we are glad others are getting to see the real Stefanik. Her methods have always included lies and nicknames. This district supported Democratic representatives as well as President Obama. People in the district have had enough. Time for Tedra Cobb to represent us.

  • comment-avatar
    John Lindholm November 16, 2019

    Rep. Stefanic is revealing her true character. Apparently, Harvard did not teach an ethics class or she slept through it. As she supports Trump, she is saying she is ok with Ole Dishonest Donny’s ongoing abuse of the Amaulments clause of the Constitution, she supports obstruction of justice, does not believe the balance of power Constitution responsibilities, she believes in white supremacy, separation of children from families. Her blind support and willingness to support the GOP also indicates she has no problem seeking and accepting foreign election influence. I hope someday, country means more to her than a power trip.

  • comment-avatar
    Ronald Bagwell November 19, 2019

    I believe she has shown some intestinal fortitude to make a stand against the illegal proceedings that Shiff and Pelosi have been perpetrating on the daily elected president. This has been nothing more than a political tantrum on the part of Democrats because their candidate lost, as this “witch hunt” has been going on since the elections. Democrats get over yourselves and do your elected job not disregarding them for your personal gains.