“I try very hard not to swear at home,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, told The Hill in 2014.
Three years and a Donald Trump presidential campaign later, the senator is less constrained about dropping so-called “f-bombs” in private or in public. Speaking to the Personal Democracy Forum last week, Gillibrand used the word twice. Last month in a New York Magazine interview, the senator dropped three f-bombs.
Beto O’Rourke, the Texas Democratic Congressman challenging Sen. Ted Cruz accused Cruz of “sure as s*** not serving” his constituents. And Kamala Harris, the California Democratic senator, reportedly also used the f-word at a public event in San Francisco.
In part, that may be because past instances were mistakes, where a politician said the wrong thing while speaking passionately on an issue or opponent.
In today’s Trump-changed political environment, this language is no mistake; it is intentional, calculated “spontaneity” designed to draw headlines and demonstrate outrage to similarly minded activists and donors — using some of Trump’s methodology to show their strong resistance to him.