Chris Matthews recently asked Claire McCaskill about amity among female senators: "How come that works for your side of the gender aisle and men don't seem to get along? Is it just the testosterone or what?" Maybe it's the dinner.
Politico today describes a dinner group for women across the Senate aisle, launched by Senator Barbara Mikulski. The ground rules: "No staff, no memos, no leaks, and no men."
There are seventeen women in the Senate, and only five are Republicans, many of them relative moderates — Kay Bailey Hutchison, Lisa Murkowski, Olympia Snow, Susan Collins — plus newcomer Kelly Ayotte, who was endorsed by Sarah Palin. They get together periodically to eat, sometimes at someone's house, and also offer new entrants like Kirsten Gillibrand advice on navigating the Senate. (Gillibrand came from her own supportive women's network in the House.)