Barbara Mikulski Convention Speech and Transcript
U.S. Senator from Maryland
Thursday, July 28th, 2016
2016 Democratic National Convention
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Prepared Remarks - Democratic Women of the Senate
Sen. Barbara Mikulski
In 1987, I was the first Democratic woman elected to the Senate in her own right. Yes, the history of women in the Senate is that short — it's about 4'11." Though I was the first, I didn't want to be the only. I lit one candle, but I wanted more women, so we could light a torch, and lighten the load on all of you.
As our ranks have grown, I've had the privilege of mentoring so many talented women. In 2000, I got a call from one of them. She was considering a Senate run, but she had one question first. She asked me, "Barb, what can a senator get done?"
I told her, "A lot." And boy, did she prove me right. As a senator, she championed the economic security of American families. When Republicans tried to turn Social Security over to the big banks, she helped deliver a knockout blow. When the Supreme Court told Lilly Ledbetter, "No way on equal pay," she pushed for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, to guarantee equal pay for equal work. I finished the job, and the Fair Pay Act was the very first bill Barack Obama signed into law. Her name was Hillary Clinton — and she's going to be our next president. Now, it's time for me to pass the torch to a new generation. So I have just one question: Are you with us?
Families of America, it's time to suit up. With our lipstick on. With our shoes polished. Our shoulders squared. Ready to fight. To put Hillary in the White House. Because we know she'll be carrying the torch for all of us.
Sen. Patty Murray
Year after year in the Senate, we've faced ridiculous antics from Republicans determined to roll back health care options for women. But, with Hillary Clinton, they never stood a chance. When the Bush Administration tried to block women's access to Plan B contraception, Hillary was by my side and ready to fight. Our demand was simple: Base decisions about women's health on science, not political ideology.
Together, we stood up to an administration ruled by special interests and the extreme right. We refused to back down until the FDA did their job and put science, and women, first. Now, women across America are free to choose safe emergency contraception.
That's Hillary. A leader who knows how to stand her ground, fight for what's right, and move our country forward.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow
In 1995, I saw Hillary speak at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. It was a tense time in China, and there was a great deal of anticipation around the First Lady's remarks, whether she would speak and what she would say.
I watched with the crowd of women as she named, one after another, injustices suffered by women around the world. She was calm, determined, and absolutely fearless as she declared that, "Women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights." As a woman and an American, I was filled with pride.
That's Hillary. In Beijing, she broke the silence, and this November, she'll break the glass ceiling once and for all.
Sen. Maria Cantwell
As a former businesswoman, I can tell you family and medical leave is a key tool for 21st century jobs. Hillary fought for that. She fought for a higher minimum wage. She knows we build our economy from the middle out. She supports new apprentice programs to train laid-off workers and returning veterans so they can find jobs.
I watched her help grow the Seattle grassroots organization MomsRising — fighting for economic security. Now a million members, MomsRising and Hillary are working for paid family leave.
That's Hillary. Her opponent might have built buildings and casinos. But Hillary's life work has been building the foundation of an economy that works for everyone.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Minnesota's steelworkers have a group of workers called the Women of Steel. The senators up here are women of steel. Hillary Clinton is a woman of steel!
Here's my Hillary story. After that devastating earthquake hit Haiti, somewhere in the rubble were dozens of orphans set to be adopted by families in my state. Distraught Minnesota moms were on the ground, looking for their babies. When they called me, I called the only person I knew would help: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She didn't pawn it off. She went to work. She got those babies home.
That's Hillary. The friend who takes the call, the mom who gets it done right. Those kids may never know she changed their lives forever, but she did. That's a leader. That's our next president.
Sen. Claire McCaskill
We all know that Hillary is the most knowledgeable, most experienced, most capable leader to run for president in a long time. But here's something you may not know: Earlier this year, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, Hillary called me to check in not once, but several times. She asked me how my treatments were going, she told me to keep up the fight. Her words gave me strength during one of the toughest tests of my life. She didn't do it because I was a senator. There are thousands of people across this country who could tell the exact same story.
That's Hillary. She has the intelligence. She has the work ethic. But most importantly, she has heart to lead this country.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen
As all of us here know, our policies abroad have real consequences at home. For 15 years, a printing manufacturer in my state struggled with a foreign trade dispute. The costs to the company were so high, they threatened hundreds of jobs. At Hillary Clinton's confirmation hearing, I brought the issue to her attention. She promised to look into it. Within 90 days, the issue was resolved.
Here she was, a newly-minted Secretary of State having to get up to speed on every major issue across the globe, and yet she kept her word, and took the time to help out one struggling New Hampshire company.
That's Hillary. When you need a champion, there's no one better to have in your corner.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Hillary Clinton has been a mentor to me throughout my career. But long before our first conversation, Hillary spoke to me. In fact, she was speaking to a room full of women, members of a Democratic group I had just joined. But standing in the back of that crowded hall, I felt her calling me out when she said, "Decisions are being made every day in Washington, and if you're not part of them, you might not like what they decide, and you'll have no one to blame but yourself."
Hillary believes that to her core. It's why, after nearly four decades of public service, she's still fighting to make a difference. And it's why I'm proud to fight for her.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin
When I was 9, I was hospitalized for three months with a serious illness. My grandparents raised me and their family health plan didn't cover grandchildren. They had to pay my medical bills out of pocket. Then I was considered a child with a pre-existing condition and they couldn't find me coverage at any price.
I entered public service to fight for health coverage for all, especially children and young adults. Hillary Clinton has led that fight for decades. With the help of her relentless advocacy, 8 million children are insured and their families more secure. When I got to Congress, I continued Hillary's work to ensure that our most vulnerable children have the care they need.
That's Hillary. As President, she'll fight for healthier families and a fair shot for all.
Sen. Mazie Hirono
I am an immigrant. My mother brought me to America to seek a better future. Growing up, I learned that a better future doesn't just happen. As Americans, we have to make the change we seek.
In college, outraged by Vietnam, I became an activist. When I met Hillary Clinton, I knew I had found a kindred spirit. Hillary is a policymaker with an activist's heart. She knows that the most effective way to make change is to claim a seat at the table.
But no matter how high she's climbed, she's never forgotten who she's fighting for. Children. Working families. Immigrants. Small business owners.
That's Hillary. Wherever there is someone getting a raw deal, Hillary is with them, fighting to make it right. That's why I'm with Her.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
I believe it's important to fight back when powerful people try to rig the system. Guys like Donald Trump will do anything to help the rich and powerful get richer and more powerful, and Trump is willing to step on anyone who gets in his way.
Hillary Clinton knows how to fight back against dangerous, loud-mouthed bullies. For 25 years, she's been on the receiving end of one attack after another. But she doesn't back down. She doesn't whine. She doesn't run to Twitter to give people nasty nicknames. And she sure as heck doesn't quit. Hillary just keeps right on fighting for the people who need her most.
That's Hillary. She's battle-tested, and she's the fighter working families need in the White House.
Sen. Barbara Boxer
When Hillary Clinton made history and joined us in the Senate, she wasn't seeking the spotlight. We served on the Environment and Public Works Committee together, and, let me tell you, she was a workhorse. Humble, steady, ready to learn.
Then, just eight months later, she was thrust into the middle of the WORST attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. In the dark days that followed 9/11, I saw Hillary's true character. She consoled a grieving population. She sprung into action, securing benefits for the families of the fallen and getting the funding New York needed to rebuild. When Ground Zero responders became sick, she demanded answers from the Bush Administration. And she fought to make sure that they got the health care they need.
When the cameras were off, she never stopped working and never stopped fighting, and that's why members on both sides of the aisle praised her for her dignity, her resolve, and her effectiveness.
That's Hillary. In crisis or in calm, whether we need a hand or a heart-to-heart, we can always count on her to come through.
As our Dean, Senator Mikulski, likes to say, this election is not about gender, it's about an a-genda, one that includes every American. And we, the Democratic women of the Senate, stand shoulder to shoulder with Hillary, resolved and ready to make her the next President of the United States of America!
Leaders of Major Labor Groups, Lee Saunders (AFSCME President), Lily Eskelsen Garcia (National Education Association President), Mary Kay Henry (SEIU President), Richard Trumka (AFL-CIO President), Sean McGarvey (Building Trades President) and Randi Weingarten (American