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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of New York City

15 Real Housewives Who Have Some Major Connections to the World of Politics

Some Housewives run in the same social circles as Washington's movers and shakers.

By Laura Rosenfeld
Carole Radziwill Dishes on Her Passion for Politics

The Real Housewives of New York City are all about politics this season, as they follow the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath. But this isn't the first time we've seen Housewives express their passion for politics, and it certainly won't be the last. 

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Yes, the Housewives don't just get into heated debates about gossip or party invitations; they've also been known to rub elbows with Washington's elite, as well as fight for causes they care about. Some of the Housewives' political connections may even surprise you.

1. Carole Radziwill

Carole and her late husband Anthony on their wedding day.

Carole Radziwill didn't just get out the word and the vote about presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton this season of RHONY; she also married into one of the most famous political dynasties our country has ever seen: the Kennedys. Carole's late husband, Anthony Radziwill was the son of Lee Radziwill, the sister of the late First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The RHONY author was also close to John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, until their deaths in 1999. 

But politics is something that Carole was interested in way before she married Anthony. "I'm very interested in politics. I always have been. At ABC News, I covered lots of politics. I interviewed lots of politicians and spent a lot of time in Washington, D.C.," Carole told The Daily Dish in April. "So it's just something that I've always been interested in. I'm not a political expert. I'm not Rachel Maddow. It's a hobby and an interest and a passion."

2. Dorinda Medley

Carole has reconnected with Dorinda Medley this season of RHONY, partly thanks to their shared passion for politics. "It's not the most politically minded group of women, but Dorinda, it turns out, is very political, a little quieter than I am about it, but she came in hard and strong on the election," Carole told The Daily Dish last month. "So that was a nice piece of it. Every time we got together, we would talk about the election, to the dismay of the other women in the group, but that was another nice connection that we had." 

The two were spotted at the Women's March in Washington, D.C. in January. But Dorinda's ties to Washington go even deeper than that. Her late husband, Richard Medley, served as Chief Economist for the House Banking Committee and Chief of Staff for the Democratic leadership in the U.S. Senate under Robert Byrd as the head speechwriter for Geraldine Ferraro's vice presidential campaign during the 1984 election, according to his obituary in The Berkshire Eagle. The couple also previously contributed to the Clintons' fundraising efforts. Dorinda said during an interview with The Tomorrow Show last October that Hillary had such sweet things to say about her and her late husband when she ran into her at a hair salon about a year-and-a-half after Richard passed away in 2011. It's no wonder this photo of Hillary and Dorinda's daughter, Hannah Lynch, looks so joyful.

3. Kim Richards

What?! One of the Ladies Dated Donald Trump

One of the most shocking revelations to come out of last season's The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion was that Kim Richards once dated President Donald Trump. "I had dinner with him," Kim told Andy Cohen, who said, "Kim could've been our first lady." Erika Girardi said, "That would've been amazing," and we'd have to agree.

4. Sonja Morgan

Sonja strikes a pose with pal Ivana Trump.

Speaking of connections to the president, Sonja Morgan once worked as a consultant to Trump, who she said she's "friends" with on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen last month. Sonja is also good friends with Donald's ex-wife, Ivana Trump.

5. Jill Zarin

We made to #inauguration #trump #bestnephewever #nephewissingle!

A post shared by jill zarin (@mrsjillzarin) on

Another RHONY lady actually witnessed Donald become inaugurated as president in January. Jill Zarin scored an invite to the ceremony and seemed so ecstatic to have a front-row seat to history with her nephew.

6. NeNe Leakes

When we talk about Trump, we can't forget to mention all of the Housewives that have worked alongside him as contestants on The Celebrity Apprentice. That list includes NeNe Leakes, Kenya Moore, Teresa Giudice, Lisa Rinna, Brandi Glanville, and Claudia Jordan. 

NeNe's connections with Trump even went beyond The Celebrity Apprentice as she said during an interview on Chelsea that she was approached by his campaign to lend her support to the then-presidential hopeful, which she declined. But Donald did have Teresa's vote, she shared during her WWHL one-on-one last February.

7. Kyle Richards

"My fellow Americans , it has been the honor of my life to serve you " Thank you @barackobama & @michelleobama #farewellobama ❤

A post shared by Kyle Richards Umansky (@kylerichards18) on

The host of The New Celebrity Apprentice was also a politician: Arnold Schwarzenegger, who served as governor of California from 2003 to 2010. Kyle Richards was one of the Housewives vying for the grand prize, along with Porsha Williams. Kyle was also lucky enough to meet President Barack Obama in person, along with her husband, Mauricio Umansky. Cynthia Bailey and The Real Housewives of Miami's Adriana De Moura and Lea Black have also taken some stunning selfies with the 44th president.

8. Porsha Williams

In addition to impressing the Governator, Porsha also saw democracy in action when she attended the Democratic National Convention with Phaedra Parks last season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. In fact, politics is in Porsha's blood. Her grandfather is the late Hosea Williams, a prominent civil rights leader and philanthropist.

9. Phaedra Parks

Phaedra Parks' Roundtable on Gun Violence

Phaedra is one of the most politically active Housewives. Not only did she attend the DNC with Porsha last year, but while they were there, she organized a roundtable on gun violence. Phaedra previously brought the Housewives down to D.C. to honor the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March. She has also been active in helping out with the Flint water crisis, teaming up with Kenya to mentor children affected by it at a camp last season of RHOA. With all of that, it should come as no surprise that Phaedra has considered running for office one day.

10. Lisa Vanderpump

Lisa Vanderpump has also been vocal about a cause that's close to her heart: putting an end to the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China. The restaurateur has done a lot to get the word out, organizing a march through Los Angeles, launching the Vanderpump Dog Foundation with husband Ken Todd, and creating a documentary about the fight to end the event, which we saw her work on during the ladies' trip to Hong Kong this season of RHOBH. Lisa also raised awareness for the cause on Capitol Hill as she lent her support to House Resolution 752, which is "condemning the Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, China, and urging China to end the dog meat trade."

All of Lisa's hard work seems to have paid off. The Duo Duo Project and Humane Society International recently announced that a temporary ban had been placed on the dog meat trade in Yulin. And let's not forget that Lisa was voted President in last year's Real Housewives Awards

11. Kandi Burruss

Kandi's husband Todd shares a birthday with President Obama.

August 4 is an extra-special day in the Burruss-Tucker household. Not only is it the birthday of Kandi Burruss' husband Todd Tucker, but it's also the day President Obama was born. Can you say coolest day ever?

12. Gizelle Bryant


Political Pioneer. Civil Rights Legend. My Dad❤️. #family #prouddaughter #coolcurt

A post shared by gizellebryant (@gizellebryant) on

Gizelle Bryant doesn't just live near the heart of the American political system as a resident of Potomac, Maryland; she also comes from a prominent political family. Her father, Curtis Graves, served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1967 to 1973. He was the first African American to hold that post since 1899, according to a Texas Monthly profile of Curtis, who was also a part of the Civil Rights Movement. After his tenure in the Texas House of Representatives, Curtis went on to begin a 30-year career in NASA's Academic Affairs Division and ultimately serve as its Director for Civil Affairs.

13. Luann D'Agostino

Former Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, gave Luann her start in show business.

A politician actually gave Luann D'Agostino her first big break in show biz. Silvio Berlusconi, the media mogul and former prime minister of Italy, was in the audience when Luann impersonated Sharon Stone — blonde wig and all — during the Italian equivalent of the Emmys in the '90s. He was so impressed by her performance that three months later, he called her agent and offered her a job as a co-host of an Italian soccer show called Pressing. What luck!

14. Robyn Dixon

Sheila Dixon, the first female mayor of Baltimore, is the aunt of Robyn's ex-husband Juan.

Robyn and Juan Dixon aren't the only ones in the family that know what it's like to be in the public eye. Juan's aunt, Sheila Dixon, was Baltimore's first female mayor, serving from 2007 to 2010. She resigned from office in 2010 as part of a plea deal in a perjury case. Sheila later campaigned to land in a spot in the 2016 mayoral election but lost in the Democratic primary. But at least Sheila had Robyn's support every step of the way.

15. Kathryn Edwards

#tbt. President Reagan and the First Lady, needless to say I had a big smile on my face.

A post shared by Kathryn Edwards (@katedwards8) on

Kathryn Edwards once took a fab photo with President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan. We totally understand why her smile is so wide.

Relive the morning after the 2016 presidential election on RHONY, below.

The Morning After
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