At a rally for Hillary Clinton in Manchester during the 2016 First in the Nation primary, Madeleine Albright called out Granite State women who were supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for the Democratic nomination.

“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!” Albright said.

U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster apparently missed that event.

When the Second Congressional District Democrat announced her retirement, Kuster promptly threw her support to Colin Van Ostern, the only straight, white male in the 2024 Democratic field running for federal or statewide office.

“I’m proud to endorse my friend Colin Van Ostern, and I know that he will make New Hampshire proud serving in Congress,” Kuster said.


Colin Van Ostern greeted by supporters at N.H. Secretary of State’s office, June 11, 2024

It’s an interesting decision for one of the founders of the “Elect Democratic Women” PAC.

“Elect Democratic Women was formed in 2018 by Democratic members of Congress with the purpose of electing more pro-choice Democratic women to Congress and higher office, based on the understanding that democracy is best served by a diverse Congress that reflects the people they represent,” Kuster and her fellow PAC founders said at the time.

The PAC reported hauling in a record-breaking $5.2 million in donations in 2023.

“These record-breaking fundraising numbers continue to show just how motivated voters are to elect Democratic women to Congress and take back the House majority,” the organization’s chairwoman, U.S. Rep Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), said in a statement.

But none of that money will be going to Maggie Goodlander, the Democratic woman expected to formally file for the NH-02 primary Wednesday.

Nor will Goodlander be getting the backing of Kuster’s own pro-Democratic women initiative called “A Seat at the Table,” launched in 2020.

“If you don’t have a seat at the table, you may be on the menu,” was Kuster’s message to Democratic women.

“I started ‘A Seat at the Table’ in 2020 to help elect pro-choice, Democratic women in New Hampshire to take a seat at the table to fight for the rights of women and girls in our state,” Kuster said at the time. One of the women she backed with her initiative is Democrat Becky Whitley — in her 2022 state Senate campaign, not her bid for Congress.

Whitley announced her candidacy in the Second District soon after Kuster’s retirement news, and she made it clear that gender would be a central part of her campaign.

“Our state has a proud tradition of sending strong women to Congress to fight on the front lines for our democracy’s future and for our fundamental freedoms,” Whitley said in her initial statement.

When asked about her opponent’s endorsement during an interview with WMUR, Whitley continued to try to appeal to Kuster, referring to her as a “mentor.”

“I have so much respect for Congresswoman Kuster,” Whitley told WMUR’s Adam Sexton. “She’s the first woman to hold this seat, and she’s been a mentor for so many women.”

But her “Sisters Stick Together” overtures didn’t sway Kuster. She stuck with Van Ostern, and Whitley soon dropped out of the primary.

That leaves Goodlander (as of late Tuesday) as both the only woman in the race and Van Ostern’s top competitor.

Goodlander is a former Biden Department of Justice attorney and current wife of the president’s National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan. The biggest news she’s made so far was when she announced she would be renting a property in Nashua despite the fact she and her husband own a multi-million dollar house in Portsmouth — which is outside the district.

Kuster has no plans on following Albright’s advice in Goodlander’s case, either. She’s still promoting Van Ostern, who formally filed his candidacy paperwork on Tuesday.

Soon after Goodlander’s formal announcement, Van Ostern’s campaign shared a statement from Kuster with a less-than-subtle hit on Goodlander.

“As a 2nd CD voter myself, I believe strongly this race will be decided by the people of our district – not by wealthy or powerful interests from outside our state,” Kuster stated.

Neither Kuster nor Van Ostern would respond to a request for comment.