More and more Capitol Hill lawmakers are commuting to Washington instead of moving their wives and families to DC. Besides the obvious strain on family and relationships, not to mention cases of infidelity, what fascinates me is that, believe it or not, leaving spouses and family behind is impacting bipartisan efforts in Washington, and not for good.
NPR’s The Takeaway ran an interesting report on this trend, which actually isn’t new, but has historic roots.
Lisa Miller’s Newsweek article that prompted this interview is: The Commuter Congress
Yet another piece of evidence that men and women need each other. It seems a Blessed Alliance in the marriages of our leaders might make things work better in our government.
I heard this on NPR when it originally ran. A very interesting story.
Surprisingly though, I don't remember the story dealing with female lawmakers. I wonder if the same, or similar, issues are present for them and their families.
In the interview, they do mention missing husbands of female lawmakers at different points. But the focus of the interview and the article is on how wives building relationships among congressional families has a positive impact on collaborative efforts on Capitol Hill. And they do make the point that women talk to each other in a different way and more often and that this creates a social glue that changes attitudes across party lines. They give Washington wives credit for being more than ornaments or sandwich-makers, and according to this report, there's a cost to all of us when those wives aren't present.