Republican Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert was elected earlier this month in CO-03 with a fairly simple strategy. She apparently sees no reason to alter that approach now that she is Congresswoman-elect Q*Bert.
As The Associated Press reports, Boebert has asked permission to bring her sidearm to the U.S. Capitol on a daily basis:
Boebert asked Capitol Police officials about carrying her weapon when she and other House freshmen taking office in January were in town recently for orientation programs, according to two congressional officials. Both people — a Democrat and a Republican — spoke on condition of anonymity to describe her request…
…A 1967 regulation says no federal or District of Columbia laws restricting firearms “shall prohibit any Member of Congress from maintaining firearms within the confines of his office” or “from transporting within Capitol grounds firearms unloaded and securely wrapped.”
Lawmakers may not bring weapons into the House chamber and other nearby areas, the regulations say, according to a letter Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., wrote in 2018. Aides can carry lawmakers’ weapons for them on the Capitol complex, he wrote.
Boebert won in 2020 by virtue of being a Trump-loving Republican in a Republican-friendly Congressional district, but to get there she had to first knock off a fairly un-interesting incumbent in Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez). Boebert upset Tipton largely because of a shtick that she had been honing for years: She was the plucky young mom who wrapped herself in an American flag and carried a gun on her hip everywhere she went. Boebert painted a simple caricature of herself and rode that puppy through a Republican Primary and the General Election in November.
There was not more to Boebert than this character that she created, but it was enough in 2020. Voters didn’t seem to mind that Boebert refused to debate Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush. They didn’t mind that she had no relevant experience and no real policy positions and, as a result, generally avoided media outlets not related to Fox News or Breitbart. When Boebert did talk to media outlets that were not reliably-right wing, she usually made an ass of herself. Voters in CO-03 didn’t even seem to mind that Boebert was not exactly an upstanding citizen of the district.
Keeping Boebert out of debates and away from reporters was part of the campaign strategy, and it seems that letting others speak on her behalf will be a continuing theme in Congress. The AP tried to talk to Boebert about her desire to carry a gun around Washington D.C., but were rebuffed:
Aides to Boebert, who Trump endorsed as “a fighter” who will “never bow down to the establishment in Congress,” did not make her available for an interview.
“This was a private discussion and inquiry about what the rules are, and as a result the Congresswoman-Elect won’t be going on the record,” Boebert aide Laura Carno said in an email last week.
We wouldn’t want Boebert talking to reporters, either, but it seems untenable that staff could shoo away the media and lean only on pre-approved statements for the next two years. But it worked during the election, and that seems to be the plan going forward: Give Boebert her prop gun and make sure she doesn’t have to speak for herself.