“Meet the New Class”: Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves

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Because I can. Sure, it’s PR, but these women are prepared to do more than posture for the cameras. Also, my new Senator remains awesome:

The senators showed there is disagreement among them on abortion, reproductive health decisions and even disagreement as to what leadership role women and Congress should play in the debates ahead.

“I’m pro-choice,” Collins said. “But I think those issues should be settled and should not be the main focus of debate. To me those issues, Roe v. Wade, is settled law and I don’t know why we would want to keep bringing those issues up. I think we should be focusing like a laser on job creation, the economy, health care, education, foreign policy, national security. Those issues to me are settled.”

Sen-elect Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., disagreed, saying Republicans put those issues onto the Congressional radar screen.

“I don’t think they are entirely settled,” Warren said, “I have to say I was really shocked that those are powerful issues in 2012. I would like to think those things are settled. But they were forced forward as issues by people who thought that women should not have that kind of access. And boy, if that’s the case, then we better stand up and we better speak out.” …

… Among the senators there was unanimity in predicting, and hoping, that there will be a female president soon, perhaps as early as 2016.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said here too there is a key difference between how men and women express their personal and political ambitions.

“I think the thing is, is that every man wakes up in the morning and looks in the mirror and says, ‘I could be president.’ I think every woman looks in the mirror and says, ‘What can I get done for my country today?’ ”

Feinstein jokingly corrected her noting that a few times she’s toyed with the idea in the midst of a particularly bad episode of Washington gridlock.

“Well, you may think it from time to time,” Feinstein said smiling at the prospect. “Usually when you’re very frustrated you think… ‘If I were president I could get this done.'”

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., shared a story about her 8-year-old daughter, Kate, who came home one day and told her mother that she didn’t want her to run for president because she herself wanted to be the first female president.

“Well she better call Hillary [Clinton],” Boxer quipped of their former colleague in the Senate, widely believed to have a shot at the White House should she run in 2016.

“Did you break the news to her we’re not waiting that long?” McCaskill asked with a laugh.

Also, too: This photo of Tammy Duckworth… I’ll admit, I teared up.

34 replies
  1. 1
    Comrade Jake says:

    Warren rocks.

  2. 2
    Keith G says:

    Well, I sure hope the new sisters in the Senate will keep the heat on Harry and fight like hell for full filibuster reform.

  3. 3
    Anya says:

    Susan Collins is a douchebag who lacks the courage of her alleged convictions. Why doesn’t she ever challenge her backward party over their anti-women policies?

  4. 4
    efgoldman says:

    @Anya:

    Susan Collins is a douchebag who lacks the courage of her alleged convictions. Why doesn’t she ever challenge her backward party over their anti-women policies?

    She already knows she faces a TeaHadi primary opponent. She’s probably going to act like a real person for the rest of her term, then retire like Olympia did and let ME have two Dem Senators.

  5. 5
    Anya says:

    @efgoldman: You think she’ll lose to the Teahadist? I thought she was untouchable in Maine.

  6. 6
    Lolis says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    Agreed. Warren always seems to know exactly what to say and how to say it. She is very plain spoken and polite while she demonstrates how flawed her opponent’s ideas are. Love love love her.

  7. 7
    Violet says:

    Wow, that is one amazing picture of Tammy Duckworth. Yay for her and for all the women in Congress. So nice to see so many women there.

  8. 8
    Hill Dweller says:

    Ayotte isn’t exactly a bastion of integrity. Her behavior during the Rice witch hunt was appalling.

  9. 9
    Mike in NC says:

    @Anya: Got that right.

  10. 10
    Morzer says:

    Can one really focus like a laser on 6 different things?

  11. 11
    Punchy says:

    Maybe they’ll do a Ladies of the Senate calander and donate profits to charity. Either that or a PPV mud wrestling and/or pillow fight.

  12. 12

    It’s great that there are more women in the senate. I’d like to see twenty more, as long as they are lefty Democrats. Because being female doesn’t mean being good. See, e.g., Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, etc., etc.

  13. 13
    El Cid says:

    Wait — where’s Groot Russert to ask them all why they’re so like damn old and why don’t they just all die already?

  14. 14
    Ash Can says:

    @Hill Dweller: And how. If Ayotte’s daughter goes into politics when she grows up, I hope she has a whole lot more character and integrity than her mother.

  15. 15
    Alison says:

    To quote a great documentary – “You can’t be what you can’t see.” Even though we have a ways to go as far as parity, numbers-wise, and even though there are women like Collins who I, ahem, disagree with occasionally (or like, almost always)…it’s so important for young girls to see women in positions of power if only to give them the belief that they can get there, too. Just as the first black president was probably huge for young kids of color, in showing them, yes you can do this too! I think this is something a lot of straight white men often don’t understand, since growing up they always had zillions of people to look up to who looked and were just like them.

  16. 16
    clayton says:

    @Punchy: Earning your rep as a sour pr0n broker.

    Way to go Punchy.

  17. 17
    AxelFoley says:

    I see not one sista in that video.

    Most diverse Congress ever my arse.

  18. 18
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    There aren’t many things that move me these days. The words “Sen-elect Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.,” and the photo of Tammy Duckworth moved me.

    Thank you.

  19. 19
    clayton says:

    @AxelFoley: Nominate someone. Get her through the process. Where are you from? Let’s work on it.

  20. 20
    Pangloss says:

    I, for one, welcome our new female overlords.

  21. 21
    RaflW says:

    Huzzah for Tammy Baldwin, too. First openly lesbian US Senator!

  22. 22
    Ruckus says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
    Agreed.
    I have a thought in my head that I can’t seem to express properly about old white dudes and politics and power and hatred and bigotry and money and…
    But the words pompous, arrogant, selfish, greedy, dangerous, stupid and wrong are all in there as well. Hopefully we will get some more people to run for office that at least most of those words don’t apply to. I’d like to see that in my lifetime.

  23. 23
    scav says:

    @Alison: “You can’t be what you can’t see.” is a bit of a nonsense because it completely fails to account for the first people to accomplish anything and, moreover, seems to imply we can only model our behavior after people exactly like ourselves doing exactly what we want to do. Undoubtedly it gives confidence and hope to many, but it’s also Dumbo’s feather.

  24. 24
    scav says:

    @scav: ETA which is absolutely not to say it’s not grand to see that crew, more power to them and may they grow more numerous.

  25. 25
    Skippy-san says:

    Unfortunately for every progressive woman in Congress there is also a Michelle Bachmann. Who exist only to make trouble. Don’t forget there are plenty of women who support teabaggers as well.

  26. 26
    liberal says:

    @scav:

    seems to imply we can only model our behavior after people exactly like ourselves doing exactly what we want to do

    Agreed.

    I regard very, very few people as true heroes (in the deeply felt emotional sense). One of them is Rosalind Franklin, who died of cancer yet continued to do scientific work while very sick. Yet…GASP!…she’s a she, and I’m a he.

    It’s not unreasonable as a practical matter to try to carefully use “likeness” to leverage young people’s interest as best we can. But otherwise, it’s just more tribalism, and the focus should be on our common humanity.

  27. 27
    bemused says:

    I was thrilled when Tammy Duckworth won. I still get furious when I think of Joe Walsh insulting her service…she talked about it too much! Walsh has got to be one of the most useless, jackass men on earth. I smile and feel great satisfaction that Duckworth is now a US Rep and Walsh is left to think of ways to get out of paying his child support.

  28. 28

    Historic day for New Hampshire as it has the first ALL female delegation to DC in history. Hey it only took 224 years.

  29. 29
    brantl says:

    Debbie Stabenow remains un-awesome, unfortunately.

  30. 30
    Nina says:

    I hadn’t seen any pictures of Tammy Duckworth with her hair down. The look suits her.

    There’s my shallow moment for the day.

  31. 31
    JR says:

    I thought the most interesting part was the hand-raising, where only the Senator most likely to be on a ticket in 2016 kept her hand down.

    Love her or (much more justifiably) not, Kelly Ayotte is playing the game correctly. She will follow the Obama 2006 playbook perfectly: she will never say under any circumstances that she’s thinking about running for President, and she will promise that she won’t run for President…right up until the moment she announces for President. Which I expect in early 2015.

  32. 32
    stinger says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur: Happy for you, and also envious. Here in Iowa, we have NEVER elected a woman as Senator, Representative, or Governor. To our shame.

  33. 33
    Sophist says:

    @scav:

    “You can’t be what you can’t see.” is a bit of a nonsense because it completely fails to account for the first people to accomplish anything and, moreover, seems to imply we can only model our behavior after people exactly like ourselves doing exactly what we want to do. Undoubtedly it gives confidence and hope to many, but it’s also Dumbo’s feather.

    It’s a seven word slogan, not an exhaustive treatise on the subject. Yes, it doesn’t account for everything, but it does contain a large amount of truth. Yes, people can achieve things in the absence of role models of similar race/gender/whatever, and you don’t need to share any of those things with someone to be inspired by them. However, on a subconscious level, what the people in positions of power look like has a big effect on what we think people in positions of power should look like. It’s not particularly rational, but it doesn’t have to be rational to be true.

  34. 34
    Amanda says:

    Watching my new Senator very politely smack down Susan Collins’ baloney = a thing of beauty. Warren indeed does rock.

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