'She's ripped': Gillibrand arm-wrestles young Democrat on campaign trail

Austin Cannon

DES MOINES, Iowa – Before she could conclude her latest campaign trip to Iowa, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand had a date with destiny, a rigid-wrist rumble.  

After Gillibrand, one of numerous Democrats running for president, ended her remarks at an Ames coffee shop, it was time for that main event: an arm wrestling bout with 20-year-old Olivia Habinck.

The Des Moines Area Community College student leveled the challenge earlier in the week on Twitter. Gillibrand, who posted a video last month of her working out in a “just trying to get some ranch” shirt, took her up on it.

The fight was two rounds, each contender earning a victory. The first quickly developed into a war of attrition, neither budging for several seconds. The younger Democrat appeared to have the edge, but the senator pulled back and eventually won before collapsing back into her chair.

“On the record: She’s ripped,” Habinck said of Gillibrand.

The second contest had stakes: If Habinck won, Gillibrand would write a $500 check to the College and Young Democrats of Iowa. Perhaps still feeling the effects of the first match, Gillibrand yielded in seconds.

“I think you crushed me,” Gillibrand told Habinck afterward.

Gillibrand’s meeting with Iowa State University Democrats capped a three-day swing through Iowa, her fourth trip to the state. Before campaigning in Des Moines on Wednesday, she toured the flood damage in southwest Iowa after hearing testimony on the flooding during an on-site Senate Committee meeting.

She later told reporters that she was “frustrated” with the response from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees some of the levees along the Missouri River.

“We did not do the things that should have been done for Iowans between 2011 and today,” she said. “The Army Corps of Engineers had laid out projects, $1 billion in authorized projects that have not been funded over the last couple of years, which would have prevented the level of destruction and devastation that took place.”

Later in the trip, she made stops in Indianola, Creston, Council Bluffs, Denison and Carroll.

On Thursday in Indianola, she wasn’t asked about the much-anticipated report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. But a member of the audience did ask her Friday in Ames, and Gillibrand said she wants to hold public and closed-door hearings with Mueller, not going as far as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who called for the beginning of impeachment proceedings for President Donald Trump.

“I want the American people to get to hear (Mueller’s) words and hear what he says,” Gillibrand said.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: 'She's ripped': Gillibrand arm-wrestles young Democrat on campaign trail