I love following politics and the workings of government. I really do. Always have. But, as many have already said, it’s tough this year. For me this is the craziest year I’ve seen in a very long time. The impression many people have is that the whole thing is non-functional and that all politicians are bums. I often think that too, but then the saner side of me disagrees. Something must be getting done and they can’t all be bums. What about the women in Congress? I decided to take a closer look at two of the female leaders in the Senate.
The first woman I looked at was Elizabeth Warren. Her memoir, A Fighting Chance, made me lift my arm in the air and shout “Yes!” several times during the course of the book. I also cried, laughed out loud, and shook my head. I feel as if I’ve met this woman before. She was raised in similar circumstances. She didn’t start out as a law professor at Harvard. She had lots of things to overcome before she got there. Now I understand why she is so passionate about fighting for the issues of the middle class. Best of all, I have to say that, by the end of the book, Elizabeth Warren made me feel positive and hopeful. Here’s a few details from the publisher’s blurb:
“As a child in small-town Oklahoma, Elizabeth Warren yearned to go to college and then become an elementary school teacher—an ambitious goal, given her family’s modest means. Early marriage and motherhood seemed to put even that dream out of reach, but fifteen years later she was a distinguished law professor with a deep understanding of why people go bankrupt. Then came the phone call that changed her life: could she come to Washington DC to help advise Congress on rewriting the bankruptcy laws? . . . She came up with the idea for a new agency designed to protect consumers from predatory bankers and was denied the opportunity to run it. Finally, at age 62, she decided to run for elective office and won the most competitive—and watched—Senate race in the country.”
The second woman I looked at was Amy Klobuchar. I heard her interviewed when her book, The Senator Next Door, first came out. She was so charming and funny and smart that I got the book immediately. It felt like I already knew this woman. Like me she was raised in a middle class family in the Midwest. I was amazed at how hard she always worked. The senator spent a lot of time in her book talking about her various jobs and the things she has been able to accomplish. I found it fascinating, but I shook my head at the many long days she puts in. (The woman flies home to Minnesota nearly every weekend in addition to a long week in Washington D.C.) What is her passion? It’s proving that things can be accomplished and problems solved by bringing opposing parties together. That’s a very tough task these days. Go Amy! Here’s a few more details from the publisher’s blurb:
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has tackled every obstacle she’s encountered–her parents’ divorce, her father’s alcoholism and recovery, her political campaigns and Washington’s gridlock–with honesty, humor and pluck. Now, in The Senator Next Door, she chronicles her remarkable heartland journey, from her immigrant grandparents to her middle-class suburban upbringing to her rise in American politics.
I felt so much better after “meeting” these two women. I actually listened to both of these books via audiobooks. The Senators each narrated their books which, in my opinion, made them much more powerful. I heard the passion and other emotions in their voices.
If you also have been feeling negative about this year’s political craziness, I’d like to recommend reading both or at least one of these books. They are both well written and are well worth the time to read or listen to.