The Cleats Network

After more than two months of practice, members of Congress and members of the media — the “Bad News Babes” — faced off on Wednesday at the fifth annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game. It was my great pleasure to cover the event for both the Washington Post and for MSNBC’s “The Cycle.”

While their male counterparts remain divided along party lines — the annual Congressional Baseball Game, which includes almost all men, pits Republicans against Democrats — the softball team is a bipartisan effort.

This game is notorious for its trash-talking, but it’s fostering a spirit of civility in politics. Players say it has allowed them to develop strong personal ties that are reducing antagonism on Capitol Hill, easing gridlock, and slowly overturning the Old Boys’ Clubs of both politics and press.

Sound familiar? We call it the “Cleats Network” — and it is ridiculously fun.

Even better? These ladies raised $125,000 for the Young Survival Coalition, which tends to the unique needs of young women with breast cancer.


Caleb Shirt

Members Line Up

Boehner

At Bat

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I’ve been so lucky, I want to give back to everyone, young and old. I want to spread the good will. I’m grateful for the women who’ve come before me. They’ve made it so I can feel this way. But we are the new guard. We have networks that are both male and female, and we’re going to help our peers. We’re out there creating a meritocracy and we are going to change the world.”

Alexa von Tobel, Founder and CEO, LearnVest

Stiletto Network (Page 95)