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.
On January 3, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., raises her right hand as her son Henry messes up her hair while Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., delivers the ceremonial swearing-in in the Old Senate Chamber. Gillibrand's other son Theodore, lower right, looks on.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.