A Democrat and a Republican Are Stranded on an Island
During a long night of voting on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Arizona’s Jeffry L. Flake and New Mexico’s Martin Heinrich started chatting. Flake (BA ’86, MA ’87) told Heinrich about two weeklong survival trips he had taken to uninhabited Marshall Islands, and the pair, both outdoor aficionados, swapped spearfishing photos. They joked about doing an adventure trip together, and the joking soon turned to planning when they decided to travel to the Marshall Islands for six days and six nights.
It was an unusual pairing: Flake, a Republican, and Heinrich, a Democrat, had already voted against each other 74 times during their short time as freshmen senators. “I’ve known Senator Flake for a number of years, but we . . . come at things from very different points of view,” Heinrich told the Discovery Channel, which sent a film crew to capture the duo’s undertaking.
Rival Survival documented their efforts to work together as challenges piled up. After swimming to a deserted island from their drop-off boat, fighting harsh currents and passing by sharks, Flake and Heinrich were hit by a downpour. With just a short window before sunset, they immediately joined forces to build a shelter. And though Flake didn’t miss a chance to take playful jabs at his partner’s political party, he still gave Heinrich his due: “He helped build [it], built the structure and everything, so I applaud him.”