By Heather Cumberledge, Cronkite News
WASHINGTON – Impeachment. Immigration. Investigations. Campaigning already for the 2020 elections.
With all the chaos going on in Washington, it might seem like there’s not a lot to be thankful for. Which may be why Arizona lawmakers’ thoughts turned to home when they were asked what they would be thankful for this holiday.
“I’m so thankful for my family, I have three grandsons under the age of 4. I have a 2-year-old, a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old and they’re just the joy of my life,” said Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Tucson. “My husband said, ‘Oh, I know now why we had children – it’s so we could have grandchildren.’”
That was echoed by Rep. David Schweikert, R-Fountain Hills, who said he has been blessed with “the world’s most perfect little girl.”
“She just turned 4 years old and it’s hard to describe how joyful that is. My wife and I have waited a long time and I never thought I could have that much fun,” Schweikert said.
Some patriotic notes crept into the discussion.
“I’m thankful for the freedoms we have in America and the men and women in uniform who protect those freedoms,” said Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., an Air Force veteran herself.
“I’m thankful for my family, I’m thankful for my dad who was so hard-working and passed away when I was 12,” McSally said. “Just the opportunities I’ve had in my life because of him and my mom and all their hard work.”
Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Sedona, also touched on family and country.
“We all get together for Thanksgiving,” O’Halleran said. “I’m happy for the health of my family and trying to make sure that our country does better. I’m thankful very much for the fact that I was born in America.”
Rep. Greg Stanton, D-Phoenix, managed the holiday trifecta, giving thanks for his constituents, his family – and sports.
“I’m grateful to represent the best district in Arizona, seat 9,” Stanton said. “I’m grateful for my family and my children
“And I’m grateful that the Phoenix Suns look like they’re going to be pretty good this year!” he added. “It’s been a long time. I’m excited about that.”
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott, added an appeal to others for the holiday.
“Be inclusionary of other people not exclusionary,” he said. “Including people into our families, bringing those out from the cold, those that are homeless, showing them that there’s want and that there’s need to be around community.
“I think that’s the great things about Thanksgiving and I would implore everyone to join in.”
Most members of the state’s congressional delegation were happy to sit down and share thoughts about their Thanksgiving. And those who did all shared one message for the rest of us.
“Have a joyous Thanksgiving,” Schweikert said. “We are incredibly blessed to live in Arizona so just have a great time with it.”
Kirkpatrick went straight to the point: “Happy Holidays.”