Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz won the unanimous support of the Democratic National Committee on Wednesday afternoon, becoming the first woman to lead the party and the first Member of Congress in nearly 15 years.
The Florida Democrat’s husband and three young children were among those gathered at the Fairfax Hotel, where a lively ceremony often focused on the new chairwoman’s role as a woman. Her kids led the Pledge of Allegiance before the meeting began. Speakers mentioned her battle with breast cancer and motherhood.
“I’m reminded of something that Michelle has said,” said President Barack Obama, who surprised some by calling in via speakerphone and thanking the Congresswoman. “If you need something important done, give it to a busy woman.”
Before introducing Wasserman-Schultz, Donna Brazile, the interim chairwoman, said, “She is a warrior, oh yes, a warrior for women’s health.”
During Wasserman-Schultz’s remarks, she noted that she was the youngest woman ever elected to the Florida Legislature, at 26.
She also focused on the presidential contest, which she said would be “the toughest campaign in the history of America.”
“On my watch, we will not be out-worked,” she said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.