"To the President of the Senate: This letter is to inform you that I resign from the United States Senate effective November 16, 2008, in order to prepare for my duties as President of the United States. Sincerely, Barack Obama, United States Senator."
Mikulski, who was preparing to speak on a possible federal bailout of the U.S. auto industry, was particularly pleased to be on the floor when it happened.
"Well, wow, that was quite a letter you just read, and I must tell you, to be here for this historic moment, my heart is just racing," Mikulski said. "This is indeed a moment of passage in the United States Senate, and in the passage for the country, by Sen. Obama's resignation of that duty and responsibility the people of Illinois gave him. It is one more step for him to pick up the responsibilities of the presidency of the United States. I will cherish this moment because it will be a historic moment, from 'We need change," and 'Yes, we can," to a long campaign trail, to Election Night, to a charismatic speech calling us to act like an American community, not only a country of which we're proud, a nation we hold dear, but an American community."