CNN launches new digital series on 'badass women of Washington'

CNN is launching a new series spotlighting what it calls the “badass women of Washington.”

“What makes a badass woman, at the core of it, is somebody, at least in Washington I think, who has broken barriers and along with that has done something extraordinary,” chief political correspondent Dana Bash tells ITK of the seven-part digital series debuting Tuesday.

The women profiled include Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenDems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Senate overwhelmingly passes Russia sanctions deal Russia sanctions deal clears key Senate hurdle MORE (N.H.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinGraham gets frustrated in public ‘unmasking’ debate Dem senators urged Obama to take action on Russia before election Senate panel questions Lynch on alleged FBI interference MORE (Calif.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, Rep. Jaime Herrera BeutlerJaime Herrera BeutlerThe Hill's Latina Leaders to Watch CNN launches new digital series on 'badass women of Washington' CNN honors Feinstein, Chao as ‘badass women of Washington’ MORE (R-Wash.), Army Surgeon General Nadja West and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao.

The idea for the series stemmed from a conversation Bash had with fellow CNNers Abigail Crutchfield and Rachel Smolkin shortly after the November election about what Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonPro-Trump group pulls ads targeting GOP senator on ObamaCare repeal Stone to testify before House Intel Committee next month Overnight Cybersecurity: New ransomware attack spreads globally | US pharma giant hit | House intel panel interviews Podesta | US, Kenya deepen cyber partnership MORE’s loss would mean for women. “We discussed the fact that they’re already so many amazing, accomplished women working in Washington, and the idea took off from there,” Bash says.


After four months of work, “Badass Women” is here.

Bash says the qualities for a badass woman appeared to cross generational and party lines. Both four-term senator Feinstein and 38-year-old Herrera Beutler told her they’ve had success working in Washington in part because “they have really supportive husbands who don’t mind kind of standing by their woman in a way that historically women have done for the men who have run for office.”

“It’s really interesting that both of them said that independently of one another,” Bash adds.

When asked if the “Badass” title is ushering in an edgier image for CNN, Bash replies, “We were just kind of calling them badass women in our conversations, and then we realized there was really no other way to describe them, so why not go with it? And we did.”

But Bash, 45, insists that, while the new web series focuses on some of the nation’s capital’s most powerful females, it’s not political.

“I do a lot of interviews where I’m trying to get people to tell me the truth or tell me something they don’t want to tell me,” explains Bash. “This is more just trying to tell their stories.”

“They’re not controversial. They’re just truly inspirational stories.”

So would Bash dub herself a “badass” woman?

“I would never, ever, ever put myself in the category of these women,” she says with a laugh, “but I will tell you, as a working woman and as a mom in this town, I learned a lot from them.”