I Used Presidential Candidate Quotes On Tinder

This election season and my dating life, surprisingly, have a lot in common. Both have had their share of thrilling moments, cringeworthy moments, and general WTF moments. Both are completely unpredictable. So, when I found myself, a politically charged single woman, visiting Washington D.C. for the weekend to attend festivities surrounding the White House Correspondents' Dinner, I decided to merge the two together, and use only presidential candidate quotes on Tinder to try to score a date while I was in town. I mean, if Donald Trump could somehow win more than 1,000 electoral votes in spite of gems like "My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body," it wasn't so outrageous to think he could win me a few phone numbers, too.

The weekend of the White House Correspondents' Dinner, aka nerd prom, is the one time of year you can expect to see the likes of Kendall Jenner and Michael Bloomberg rubbing elbows like old friends at the Washington Hilton. It's a time when anything can — and often does — happen. I was hitting the weekend up solo, and although I didn't have any real romantic goals for the evening (in my dreams, I would casually run into Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau while waiting for the bathroom, and my smile would be so irresistibly charming, he'd fall desperately in love with me, even though he's married, or whatever), but I didn't want to leave D.C. without at least trying to make a connection. As Hillary Clinton herself has said, "we have to be both dreamers and doers."

That's where the presidential candidates come in. Beginning Friday night when I first arrived in D.C. and continuing until I left on Sunday, I used only Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump quotes on Tinder to see who would have the most success in the department of domestic romantic affairs. (It's worth noting that I considered using Ted Cruz quotes as well, but when taken out of context, it was hard to make them sound entirely human.) As has been the case with the rest of the election so far, I was shocked by the results. Here's what happened.

My Profile:

First, I had to make my profile. I wanted something quick, witty, and to the point — and also something that would start conversation. And when it comes to the political stage, nothing sets the tone like bringing up the #WomanCard.

Once my profile was in place, it was time to see what I could do with it.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton and I are both woman card-carrying members of a society still ruled by the patriarchy. On Tinder, I figured we'd make the perfect match. Plus, everything that comes out of Hillary's mouth is a golden sound bite, so finding the perfect feminist quote to win over the D.C. masses wouldn't be that hard — at least, so I thought.

Person Number 1:

My first shot channeling Hillary was off to a good start. This guy seemed into the idea of breaking the glass ceiling — but his attention span could only handle so much feminism.

I guess he wasn't interested in even hearing a single one of those ideas, because that was the last I heard from him all night. But hey, to quote Clinton for a second, it's important to "take criticism seriously, but not personally." With the next person, I decided to use a softer opening line.

Person Number 2:

For a minute, he seemed interested — and if not interested, at least generally willing to hear more.

We had gone from small talk to interrogation-mode, and I was beginning to feel a lot like Hillary Clinton. Why couldn't this dude just agree that all my vague plans for the future sounded wonderful? On the one hand, I was thrilled that he wanted to know more about my quest to achieve gender parity — but I also found it slightly disconcerting that I couldn't easily find a solid Hillary quote to back up my grand calls to action.

By the end of our conversation, I honestly couldn't tell if this person was into me (Hillary) or not. Then again, that's pretty much the Hillary narrative, right? When all was said and done, however, I think I (Hillary) made some really good points.

Person Number 3:

Talking about women's rights, and you know, human rights in general, can be exhausting — I get it. It's possible he just wanted to sleep on the topic, but we'll never know for sure, because when I went to check in with this person the next morning, there was nothing but radio silence. Poor Hillary was not getting the love I expected, or the attention she deserved.

Person Number 4:

I was beginning to sound like a broken record, but I was also surprised by how many people were latching on to my "woman card" comment to initiate conversation. Of course, I would love for someone to ask me more about this — nothing is sexier than discussing gender equality on a first date — but I wondered if the reason this line was working so well was mostly because of its short-lived trending hashtag status, and I was a little dismayed by how quickly people were willing to write it off as an uncomfortable joke.

Person Number 5:

This was the first person to acknowledge that the woman card was not a joke. I thought, after my first few tries taking Hillary for a ride on Tinder, this guy would finally be the one to ask for my number.

A well-timed GIF can be the beginning of a flourishing relationship, but I didn't hear from this person again. That is, until many hours later, when I received this booty call:

He had taken my Hillary and raised me a Daenerys. Date or no date, consider me smitten.

Bernie Sanders

Ah, Bernie. Honestly, I thought of all the candidates, he’d be the most successful scoring a few phone numbers. Everyone loves this guy! He’s the people’s candidate! He’s looking out for middle America! His approval ratings are through the roof!

He was also the only one of the three to be Tinder ghosted.

Person Number 1:

This guy was very eager to hear my views — just not so much ones of the political variety. He blocked me a few minutes after I sent that message. For what it's worth, I find discussing human rights way more thrilling than roller coasters.

Person Number 2:

Yes! After my initial letdown, I had found someone who wanted to talk Bernie to me.

See that little green heart? That means he "liked" my message. The love was definitely alive.

Person Number 3:

I find it interesting that many people who brought up the woman card did so tangentially with their so-called man card, but I liked that this person opened up the discussion to be even more inclusive. I also liked that he picked up on my game, but was still willing to play. If I had more time to spend in D.C., this could have been the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Person Number 4:

Agreed, human freedom is a pretty weighty topic to dive right into with someone who's just looking to hang out on a Saturday night, but he asked me what's cookin' and these are the matters that get Bernie to stew.

Person Number 5:

After just two quotes, this guy was on to me. But like, also? Bernie, bless him, doesn't know what a Metro card is — do you think he's Tinder savvy enough to catfish?

As is typically the case, Ted Cruz left me speechless. I was afraid to touch this conversation any further.

Donald Trump

Say what you will about Donald Trump — his witticisms are pretty prolific. So much so, in fact, that I figured the second I uttered the words “make America great again,” the gig would be up. To be fair, most people caught on to my Trumpisms pretty quickly. But there were others who, I'm sorry to say, should stay home tonight and turn on the news.

Person Number 1:

Busted. I decided to keep going anyway — I mean, Trump does. But then, another curveball.

At first, I thought he was just being sexist. It took me a minute to realize he was actually beating me at my own game — this is something Donald Trump has really said. My soul was bruised, but I couldn't give up. I soldiered on to the next person.

Person Number 2:

Then, disaster struck. This person decided to Google me, Kathryn, and found out I occasionally pull Tinder experiments like this — and in a few choice words, called me out on it.

In fact, I was currently engaged in another experiment where I had deleted all my personal dating apps for a month (for the record, I had gotten permission from our sex and relationships editor to re-download Tinder for my presidential candidates experiment, so long as I promised to only use it in character, and not for my own personal amusement).

I didn't want to break character, so I did what Trump would do. Dismiss his accusations entirely, and contradict my earlier statements.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, seems to sum up just how exactly Donald Trump made it this far in the election.

Person Number 3:

I held my breath for a second...

He didn't have anything else to say, after that. I figured he knew I was talking through Donald Trump, and at first thought it was funny, but then when he couldn't decide if I was joking or not, he dropped me. I get it. I didn't take Trump seriously at first either.

Person Number 4:

*Facepalm* Was this person completely oblivious? Completely in denial? Did he live in some blissful alternate universe where nobody had yet been encouraged by a potential world leader to "knock the crap out of" First Amendment-wielding protesters? Could he take me there? Could we be soul mates? Could we just pretend like none of this was real?

Person Number 5:

Only time will tell if Trump's ridiculous rhetoric will win the Republican nomination, but it did win over this person's heart. Meanwhile, I turned off my phone and went to bed. Love, like politics, can be a dangerous game. This experiment, suddenly, made me want to give up on both.

The Final Tally:

By the end of this experiment, I had traded messages with dozens of D.C. denizens, and the score looked like this:

Hillary Clinton: 0 phone numbers, 0 dates

Bernie Sanders: 1 phone number request, 1 ghost, 1 let's just be friends

Donald Trump: 1 phone number offer, 1 phone number request, 1 broken heart (mine)

Unlike in politics, there could be no clear winner in this game. Of the three candidates, people usually figured out my Hillary game the fastest — although I had suspected Trump would be the most obvious. Weirdly, people seemed drawn to his confidence. What I was saying was absurd, especially in the context of dating apps, and many of the guys I talked to did pick up on the joke after a few back and forths — but even then they weren't entirely willing to drop it. Our fascination with Donald Trump, inexplicable though it may be, is real.

As for Bernie? As likable as he comes off in his campaign, his ideas don't translate too well in the dating space. People just don't really know what to say to the guy. And instead of asking questions back, they'd rather just... find someone else to talk to. That being said, I did have one person ask for my phone number, but it was only after I mentioned my fear of media conglomerates. I just feel like that's a shaky foundation to build a relationship on.

And then there's Hillary. Her quotes were the easiest for me to use, but they were the lowest performers of the group. Once people saw what I was up to, the conversation pretty much died. But to borrow one more quote from the Democratic candidate: "The worst thing that can happen in a democracy — as well as in an individual's life — is to become cynical about the future and lose hope." I'd find a match yet.

I left D.C. still single, but not discouraged. There's no way I'm dropping out of the race just yet. Dating, like politics, is all about saying the right thing at the right time to the right people. It's not about making everybody love you, but finding a select few who will fight on your side. My biggest takeaway from this experiment, though? I'm never letting Donald Trump — or for that matter, anyone — speak for me again.

Images: Kathryn Kattalia/Bustle