Administrative staff, Byrd, Robert C., Democratic Policy Committee, Long, Russell B., Majority Leader, Pope, Martha, U.S. Senate culture, Women in politics
Lula Johnson Davis was born in Potash, Louisiana. Her mother was a homemaker and her father worked in construction. She was awarded bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern University in Louisiana and married a Howard University professor, which brought her to Washington, D.C. She served as a legislative correspondent for Senator Russell Long in Washington, D.C., from 1980-1987 and later became an assistant for the Democratic Policy Committee’s floor staff office. In 1993, she began working for the Democratic floor staff and in 1995 rose to the position of chief floor assistant. From 1997 to 2008, she was assistant secretary for the Democratic Party and in 2008 was voted secretary for the majority.
Interview includes discussion of: how Davis got to Washington, DC; her work as legislative correspondent for Senator Russell Long; description of Senator Long; Davis’s job with the Democratic Policy Committee; working on the Senate Floor; working for Byrd; transition from Byrd to Mitchell within the Democratic Policy Committee; how the culture in the Senate has changed; voting procedures; difference between secretary of the Senate and secretary for the majority; George Mitchell’s legacy; the transition from Mitchell to Daschle; changes in the nature of Democratic leadership; changes in the nature of Republican leadership; Clinton impeachment; role of women in the Senate culture, including Martha Pope, Shelia Burke, and Anita Jensen.
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