On Saturday, a woman running to flip Texas' Republican-led 7th Congressional District shared a heartfelt thread on Twitter to describe the inspiration behind her campaign: her five-year-old daughter, Claudia. Democratic candidate Laura Moser, a journalist and author from the Houston area, said she believed that when Claudia was born, the United States was moving in a positive direction, and alluded to how politics have shifted since that time. Now, she's motivated by her daughter's confidence and intelligence, and feels compelled to work to protect those qualities if elected to Congress.
"I was born a feminist, but even if I hadn't been, Claudia would have made one of me," Moser wrote. "Because Claudia has an astonishing brain and a hilarious personality and a boundless self-confidence that has not yet been tempered by the world as it is."
Moser is one of five candidates running to unseat the incumbent Republican, John Culberson, who has represented the district since 2001. Culberson, who Moser describes as a Tea-Party Republican in a campaign video on her website, opposes abortion, endorsed Donald Trump, and opposes marriage equality.
In Saturday's Twitter thread, Moser spoke fondly of Claudia's eccentricities and vivacious personality. But she's worried that today's sociopolitical climate could negatively impact those traits.
For almost every inherently childlike quality that Moser brought up — such as Claudia's penchant for putting together "runway-worthy legwarmer-sweaterdress-tutu combinations" — Moser said she's worried that her daughter's innocence and confidence could be chipped away at. "No one has ever told Claudia that she's too tall or too outspoken or too smart, but of course I know that time will come soon enough," Moser wrote.
In another tweet, she wrote, "I know that at some point she will learn to sit quietly in the back of the class, keeping her answers to herself," and continued:
I know that soon enough men will say things they shouldn't and put their hands where they shouldn't and she won't know how to react so she will sit there in silence, tight-lipped and frantically reviewing all her least bad options until she can get the hell out of there.
Moser explained that she felt it was her responsibility, as someone who is at once her mother and also stepping into the political arena, to change the way society treats young girls and women.
"But that time hasn't come yet, and I am so thankful for every day with my fierce, brilliant, proud little girl, who is at least half the reason I have altered my life so dramatically over the past year," Moser said. She ended the thread with a link to her campaign website and a promise to "fight for my little girl and all the millions like her who haven't yet been told to sit still and look pretty."
Her feature in Moser's thread wasn't the first time that Claudia has caught national attention. When she was two, she famously threw a tempter tantrum in front of President Barack Obama when her parents were at the White House for a Passover Seder. (Moser's husband, Arun Chaudhary, worked on Obama's 2008 campaign and then was the first White House videographer from 2009 to 2011.)
Before she decided to run for elected office, Moser worked in journalism and publishing. Last December, she also founded a service called Daily Action, which texts subscribers every day with a simple task they can complete to help bolster a progressive political agenda. As Moser explained on her website, that could be something like a video to share or an elected representative to call.
The first chance to vote for Moser will be in the district's primary election on March 6, 2018. If she passes, she will continue to the Nov. 6 general election next fall.