A little-known fact about presidents: They like to collect things. Thomas Jefferson, for example, reportedly collected mastodon bones, Teddy Roosevelt collected taxidermic animals he killed himself, Barack Obama collects comic books, Donald Trump collects rage tweets. I would not go so far as to call collecting a litmus test for presidential electability, but of the roughly 1,000 (in actual fact, 20) Democrats and the one Republican challenger who have announced their bids, none have indicated a particular fondness for kitsch salt and pepper shakers or Hummel figurines or anything like that. Until now.
On Thursday, Massachusetts senator and Game of Thrones–enthusiast Elizabeth Warren shared a throwback photo of her childhood haunted doll collection. Warren did not actually describe the dolls as haunted — but, well, just look at them.
Warren seems to have shared the picture as evidence of her long-standing commitment to accessible education, a key feature of her policy platform; of her authenticity; and maybe also of her tenacity. Because it takes a certain kind of steely resolve to sleep directly under an army of haunted dolls. It takes grit. Granted, I do not live inside Warren’s head so I cannot say for sure what she intended to convey with this disclosure, but I can say this: Haunted dolls make for a frenetic living environment, think flickering lights and mysteriously misplaced objects and the constant racket of ghost hands slamming the cabinet doors open and closed for endless hours.
Living alongside a haunted doll collection also demonstrates that you can handle infighting, and also live comfortably with the chaos and The Fear. The latter will be an especially crucial quality for whoever enters the White House next, for surely no amount of sage could cleanse the current administration’s energy. So while I cannot claim that collections in and of themselves constitute a litmus test for electability, haunted doll collections may just be a litmus test for my personal vote. Kidding, I cannot tell you where my loyalties lie, also thinking too much about the primary gives me a headache and now I must lie down. Or maybe that’s just the dolls!