By Laurie Kellman, Associated Press
This is a story about a different kind of squad.
Spanberger is part of a group of first-term female representatives with national security backgrounds who flipped Republican seats last year and matter most on questions of impeachment and Democratic control. The alterna-squad consists of Reps. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania and Virginians Spanberger and Elaine Luria — women possessing deep military and intelligence experience, now voices of moderation in a party often portrayed as veering sharply left…
The national security veterans eschew cliques and Twitter fights, though they are careful to say that they have no quibble with members of the more famous “squad” made up of progressive Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. Yet they are laboring, now, to edge around the fireball of Trump’s battle with those four congresswomen of color over race and who is adequately American.
While Republicans portray the squad as emblematic of a Democratic Party turning toward socialism, the moderates are trying to forge their own brand. And Trump cannot easily cast them as villains, in part because they won’t play along. They simply can’t go down that road if they want to win reelection in their districts, which Trump won in 2016 and may yet win again.