POLITICS

Barbara Mikulski: 'They Got It Right' When They Called Me 'A Little General In Pearls'

03/12/2015 12:43 pm ET | Updated Mar 12, 2015

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) embraces her small stature and description as “a little general in pearls," saying she thinks that’s a perfect characterization of her role in Congress.

Mikulski recently announced she will be retiring in 2016 after five terms in the Senate. While speaking on NPR Thursday, the 4-foot-11-inch senator was asked what she thinks about characterizations of her as tough, relentless and “a little general in pearls.”

“I think they got it right," she said. "I am a fighter and when you’re gonna fight you have to be specific, you have to be tenacious, you have to be insistent and persistent. That’s what it takes to get the job done.”

When Mikulski began in the Senate in 1987, she was one of just two female senators in the 100th Congress. Today there are 20 women in the chamber.

“I didn’t want to be the first and only. I wanted to be the first of many,” she said.

Mikulski hosts "power workshops" for newly elected female senators and paved the way for women to be allowed to wear pants on the Senate floor.

Hear Mikulski above.

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