Published May 6, 2021
Nothing could be further from the truth. Stefanik is an unusually canny and precocious politician. She served in the George W. Bush administration in her early 20s and stayed on in Washington to work for Republican campaigns and conservative organizations. She went home to upstate New York in 2013 and prepared to challenge incumbent Democratic Rep. Bill Owens. Owens decided not to run again, and Stefanik swept to victory by 21 points in a district that President Barack Obama had won by 6 percentage points just two years earlier. At a mere 30 years of age, Stefanik was then the youngest woman ever elected to the House.
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Henry Olsen is a Washington Post columnist and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.