TRANSCRIPT: Female Senators Sit Down With Diane Sawyer


SENATOR BARBARA MIKULSKI: A succession of them.


SENATOR PATTY MURRAY: You know, I think the thing is-- is that every man wakes up in the morning and looks in the mirror and says, "I could be president." I think every woman looks in the mirror and says, "What can I get done for my country today?"


DIANE SAWYER: Wait a minute, not one of you in this room looks in the mirror and says, "I could be president"?

FEMALE VOICE: It's doubtful, but--

SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Well, you may think it from time to time-- (LAUGHTER)


SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN: --no, usually when you're very frustrated you think, "I could get this-- if I were president I could get this done." (LAUGHTER)

SENATOR JEANNE SHAHEEN: But-- but I think Kay's point--

SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Can I say something about women?

SENATOR JEANNE SHAHEEN: --is the really good one.

SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN: I don't want people who watch this show to think we're some kind of a sorority because we're not. We're all-- we all march to the sound of different drummers to some extent. And we all have, I think, an area of effectiveness. I think one of the things that we have done throughout our career is earned a portfolio of expertise. We have worked our way up, we have done our apprenticeship. We understand how government should function and we want to play a role toward that positive functioning.

This is one of the reasons I think women become effective originally, that they can sound that call. Another reason I think, you know, we're less on testosterone. (LAUGH) We don't have that need to always be confrontational. And I think we're problem solvers, and I think that's what this country needs.

SENATOR LISA MURKOWSKI: I want to go back to-- to the question about the presidency though because you're asking (THROAT CLEARING) us if any of us are looking at this as a title. And I don't know about the rest of you, but I didn't come because I wanted to have senator placed in front of my name. It was because of what I wanted to do for the people in the state of Alaska that I care really passionately about.

And I do, when I look in the mirror it's, "Okay, what are we gonna do to-- to lower the price of fuel, to-- to help with the fish disaster, to deal with some of the transportation issues." And it's-- maybe that's some of the difference here. It's-- it's the task that you sign up for, it's the task that you volunteer to do to-- in-- in-- in service. And it's not so much about the title.

And maybe it is the testosterone that you speak to, Dianne, or the ego that is attached there. But I look at-- at what I have been asked to do by the people of Alaska, and it's pretty serious stuff. And it's not the title, but it's the responsibility that comes with the service that I think makes a difference.

DIANE SAWYER: Senator Cantwell, what did-- what was the biggest surprise to you, male/female leadership, when you got here? What was the thing that surprised you the most?

SENATOR MARIA CANTWELL: The biggest thing I've been surprised about is that if you look at the 200-plus years of our country that there have only been 39 women elected to the United States Senate. And about half of those-- were people that either served one day or one year or filled the term of their spouse.

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