Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Health care, Majority Leader, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), U.S. Senate culture, U.S. Senate retirement, U.S. Senators, Women in politics
Barbara Ann Mikulski was born on July 20, 1936, and grew up in the Highlandtown neighborhood of East Baltimore, Maryland. She attended Mount Saint Agnes College and received her M.S.W. from the University of Maryland School of Social Work. She became a social worker, community organizer, and Baltimore city councilor, and she made an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate in 1974 before winning election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976. After serving in the House for ten years, she ran for the U.S. Senate in 1986, becoming the first elected woman Democratic U.S. senator. She has won numerous re-elections and continued to serve in the Senate as its longest-serving female senator at the time of this interview.
Interview includes discussion of: Mikulski’s run for the Senate in 1986 and Mitchell’s DSCC role in supporting her campaign; Mitchell dancing with Mikulski at a fund raiser; Mikulski’s reception in the Senate as a female senator; Mikulski-Mitchell ‘spousal impoverishment’ amendment; committee assignments during Mikulski’s first term; women in Congress; DSCC Women’s Senate Network; women’s issues worth legislating and fighting for in the Senate; Mitchell’s qualities as a leader; common constituent interests among ‘coastal senators;’ NAFTA; how Mitchell related to women; Mikulski’s reaction to Mitchell’s retirement from the Senate; Mitchell’s legacy as Senate leader.
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