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Monday, April 2, 2018

The Senate's Quietest Dealmaker Is Ready to Be a Little Louder

The Senate's Quietest Dealmaker Is Ready to Be a Little Louder:


Something’s snapped. After the 2016 presidential election, women nationwide wanted to make a scene. We flooded streets in protest. We filled out ballots. Whispers gave way to battle cries. We didn’t do it for “attention.” We did it for progress. In “Fired Up,” explores women’s rage—and what comes next.

With a few months until the midterm elections, the New York Times published a piece on a relative political newbie. The upstart candidate was just the latest evidence that some convention had been upended, that all across America new opportunities had opened up for people who wanted to seize them. The nation was in the midst of a fundamental redistribution of power, the profile concluded; because “[o]utsiders, many of them women, have leaped to the American politics.”
It’s the kind of statement that those of us who’ve watched the events of the past 14 months have come to expect—to revel in, even. Except reporter Timothy Egan didn’t write it in 2018. He didn’t write it in 2017 or 2016, either.
It was 1992, and he wrote it to introduce people to one woman who would soon rise to national prominence.
Patty Murray (D-WA), an activist, school teacher, and Washington State Senator, had just beaten out her "better known" and male opponents to become the top Democratic candidate for an open Senate seat. Within 12 weeks, she would compete in the general election and win. Murray was "perhaps the most powerful variation yet in sexual politics," Egan wrote, a candidate for the United States Senate who intended to run as no more or less than what she was: "a mom in tennis shoes." The epithet was Murray’s de facto motto, but it had been meant as an insult. Earlier in her career, she’d traveled to the state capital to protest budget cuts in education when a male lawmaker snarked, "You can't do anything; you're just a mom in tennis shoes."
It turned out "just a mom in tennis shoes" was exactly the kind of person to whom constituents could relate. She cared about the issues that mattered to them—family leave, education, better pay. Voters in Washington elected Murray that November and CONTINUE READING: The Senate's Quietest Dealmaker Is Ready to Be a Little Louder: