Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin characterized her decision to go into politics as a “professor” moment—as a twenty-three-year-old in her first semester of law school, she asked one of her professors if she should run for the open seat on the Board of Supervisors for Dane County, Wisconsin. He said she would make a great lawyer, but if she really wanted to do this politics thing, he was behind her all the way. She won the seat, and after six years in the Wisconsin State Legislature and 13 years in the House of Representatives, she is currently running to be the first openly gay Senator in the United States of America.
Baldwin told this story to a room full of eager Georgetown students last night, in an event co-sponsored by the College Democrats and GU Pride. And while she shared her own story, she also talked about the nitty gritty of being a member of congress and the important responsibilities that representatives have to their constituents.
She also encouraged her audience to get involved—regardless of the opinions others may have. Like many forward-thinking politicians, Baldwin was, according to her, told she was “too young, too progressive, too this,” and that she probably shouldn’t “bother”.
“Can a woman win? Can a lesbian win? Can a liberal win?” she said, recounting the challenges of her early political career in the traditionally red Wisconsin.
After telling the story of her rise into politics, Baldwin shifted to more current matters, and discussed the last congressional session. “I know how much the work of that congress was maligned in the midterm elections,” she said.