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.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.