Despite the widely-held belief that legendary California Congresswoman Maxine Waters is the Republican Party’s public enemy No. 1, there are members of the GOP who have respect and even, gulp!, admiration for the fiery legislator.
Yes, you might want to sit down for this bit of news. We all know that Waters is a favorite and frequent target of Donald Trump, who gleefully demonizes her at every turn. But multiple Congressional Republicans laud “Auntie Maxine” as a dealmaker, according to Politico.
This is the same woman that Trump denounced as being a “low IQ person” because she continuously calls for No. 45’s impeachment. However, Republicans who have interacted with Waters for years on the House Financial Services Committee have a different perspective: they see a cerebral person who gets things done.
Away from the spotlight and in person, Waters is “accessible, approachable and very experienced in the process and knows there’s give and take in every legislative process,” claims Financial Services Forum President and CEO Kevin Fromer, who represents many U.S Banks.
Waters, counter to the erroneous narrative her enemies have constructed about her, has actually exemplified an eagerness to work across the aisle and with public interest groups.
“There are many, many things that Maxine and I are completely, diametrically the opposite on,” said Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Oklahoma, according to Politico. “But I have dealt with her enough on issues to understand she can see the whole picture. It is possible to negotiate with her and she’ll keep her word. That’s an important thing in Congress. Not everybody does that anymore,” Lucas added.
Waters’ political dexterity has been totally eclipsed by her image as a fire-breathing, anti-Trump political operative and unapologetic defender of minority causes.
“People underestimate Ms. Waters,” confesses Jamie Gregory, vice president of legislative affairs at the National Association of Realtors, a conservative organization. “People forget that she’s also a legislator.”
Republican chairman, Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas added that Waters “likes to cultivate that public image of a brick-throwing, whooping and hollering person … But my observation personally is she’s sly like a fox.”
Despite her public pronouncements, conservative lobbyists and many Republicans believe they can get things done with Waters in Congress, even as she uses her vast platform to try to crush Trump.