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Senator Mikulski's Departure Will Be End Of An Era

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- When Senator Barbara Mikulski leaves Congress next year, it'll be the end of an era. The Baltimore-born trailblazer has served longer in Congress than any other woman in US history.

Vic Carter spoke with her about what she's most proud of---and what she's doing next.

Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski is an icon on Capitol Hill. She is the longest-serving woman in Congressional history---and known for her fiery personality.

"If you grew up in Highlandtown, you don't back down either," she said.


Now, after 30 years, the east Baltimore-born senator who has spent her career fighting for the people is retiring.

"I'm going to be in Baltimore. I'm going to be in Maryland. Public service is in my DNA. I will just do it from a different place," she said.

Vic Carter: "A lot of really major things occurred while you were here. If you had to categorize them and think about those things, what would you say is the biggest thing that you've ever had to have direct hand in handling for Maryland and for the United States?"

Sen. Barbara Mukulski: "It's not only one big thing. It's first of all how we worked for change. The Berlin Wall coming down, where we showed a bipartisan effort to get things done. Of course, 9/11 was the most serious. I thought I was going to die that day. From right where we were, we saw the Pentagon in flmaes---the Pentagon in flames! I would never want to go back to the melancholy and horror of that day but I'd like to go back to the camaraderie of that day. There were hands across the aisle, a willingness to do---for all of us---less partisanship, more patriotism."

Vic Carter: "We're going to have you around until 2016 but if you had to give a parting message to the folks of Maryland, what would you say to them about what you've done and the way you've done it?"

Sen. Barbara Mikulski: "First of all, thank you. Thank you for giving me your vote. Second, you can count on me that no matter what job I have, I'll be thinking about you every single day and thinking in my mind, how can I help and how can I be of service?"

Vic Carter: "Are you going to miss this?"

Sen. Barbara Mikulski: "Of course. It's been a big part of my life. But at the end of the day, even though you're going to miss it, every song has an ending."

Vic Carter: "And this one's going to end...?"

Sen. Barbara Mikulski: "Yes--with an Amen!"

Many people are expected to run for Mikulski's seat. We will, of course, follow that race closely.

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