KX Exclusive Interview with former Senator Heidi Heitkamp

State News

In a sit-down interview with former Senator Heidi Heitkamp, she tells it like it is after her time in Washington, and her plans for the future. 

It’s been one month since Senator Heidi Heitkamp became Former Senator Heidi Heitkamp. 

While flying home from Washington on her last day on the job, she vowed to take a break and not board a plane for at least two months. 

That did not happen. 

She’s had major announcements recently, in that she was contacted by CNBC to be a political contributor and Harvard has named her a fellow- in which she will spend time shaping and teaching the future leaders of tomorrow. 

KX News Evening Anchor Lauren Kalberer sat down with the former senator. 

In a tell-all, she talks about her loss, her regrets, and her plans of tomorrow. 

“I’m coming back to North Dakota,” said Heitkamp. 

It was December 11th then, Senator Heidi Heitkamp delivered her emotional farewell speech on Capitol Hill. 

To this day, it’s still emotional. 

“I would’ve loved six more years to continue the work I started,” said Heitkamp. 

She says it was clear from the beginning this campaign was going to be tough.

“I honestly believed that people in North Dakota would not elect someone who said they were 100 percent with the President.”

During Heitkamp’s six years, she still stands by her decisions. 

Most notably the ‘no’ on President Trump’s tax relief bill. And most recently, the ‘no’ on Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation. 

“There’s one kind of decision that I made, that I think looking back on it was probably an incorrect decision, and that was on Syria,” said Heitkamp when asked if she any regrets. 

“What is the President like in person?” asked Lauren. 

“Pretty sure of himself. Doesn’t question his judgments very readily. Pretty confident, so there’s a lot of arrogance there I would say, and where I’d think we’d want a President who’s confident, I don’t think we want a President who’s arrogant,” said Heitkamp. 

We know how her time in Washington ended, but we wanted to hear how it started. To which Heidi replied, a very supportive husband and family. 

“For me, my partnership is with a husband who’s incredibly shy, has no desire to be in the public image, but is incredibly supportive of the work I do,” said Heitkamp. 

She was appointed tax commissioner when her daughter was one year old and, lost the race for governor when her kids were just 10 and 14. 

“There was a lot of judgment about a young woman in politics whose kids were still in grade school and junior high, and my answer was simple: they’re the same age as John Hoeven’s,” said Heitkamp. 

She believes women in politics are treated differently. 

These days Heitkamp prefers to not look back, but look ahead to the future.

She has big plans to continue the work she started in Washington. 

Heitkamp told us off camera, that she did the best she could in Washington, and simply doesn’t know how she could have tried harder or done it better. 

For now, she’s happy to be home, where it all began. 

“The one thing that I was certain of while I was in Washington, people said ‘Where will you be?’ And, I think a lot of people thought I’d move to Washington, join a law firm or whatever and I said no, I’m coming back to Bismarck,” said Heitkamp. 

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