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For Kirsten Gillibrand, campaigning for president was a drag Friday night, but not in a bad sense.
The U.S. senator from New York visited the Blazing Saddle, a venerable Des Moines gay bar, and apparently had a great time with the drag queens who perform there, the New York Daily News reports. She posted pictures on Twitter of her with one of the queens, Vana.
\u201cVana and the amazing queens at the Blazing Saddle in Des Moines invited me for a visit tonight before their show. I felt underdressed, so I brought a dress I picked up yesterday\u2014turns out it fit me, but it fit Vana even better! Thank you for having me, ladies!\u201d— Kirsten Gillibrand (@Kirsten Gillibrand) 1555730682
The Blazing Saddle, in business since 1983, is said to be the Iowa capital's oldest gay bar. It's known locally as the "Gay Cheers."
Earlier in the day, the Democratic presidential hopeful engaged in an arm-wrestling competition with Olivia Habinck, a 20-year-old student at the Des Moines Area Community College, according to The Des Moines Register. Gillibrand won the first round after a struggle, but she gave in quickly in the second, which came with a bet - she had promised that if Habinck won, the College and Young Democrats of Iowa would get a $500 check from the senator.
"I think you crushed me," Gillibrand said to Habinck afterward. But Habinck noted that Gillibrand is "ripped."
\u201c.@oliviahabinck challenged me to an arm-wrestling match for a donation to support @CYDiowa and @iowastatedems. I said game on.\n\n(Spoiler alert: I\u2019m donating either way!)\u201d— Kirsten Gillibrand (@Kirsten Gillibrand) 1555720214
Gillibrand's swing through Iowa, whose caucus early next year will be the first event in the presidential nominating process, also included a town hall in the community of Atlantic Thursday night, where she acknowledged that she misses colleague Al Franken, but she does not regret the role she played in his departure from the Senate in 2017 in the face of sexual harassment claims.
"We are all concerned about Senator Franken, and frankly we all miss him," Gillibrand said. "He was someone who really served us well on the Judiciary Committee and was a strong senator, but the truth is that he had eight credible allegations against him." Gillibrand had called for the resignation of Franken, a fellow Democrat, but the choice to resign "was his decision and his decision alone," she said. Watch video below.