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“we tried to form our own 'old boys' network"

Carol Moseley Braun, 1993-1999

Carol Moseley Braun: United States Senator from Illinois

Interviewed by Associate Senate Historian Betty Koed, Senator Carol Moseley Braun described the unique bond that developed among the female senators.

KOED: Do you think there was a special bond among the women? Or was there a lot of attention given to something that didn't really exist?

MOSELEY BRAUN: No, I think there really was. I think the women had a tendency—we tried to form our own "old boys' network," really, now that's my shorthand for it. Barbara Mikulski, particularly, tried to set up meetings in which the women would get together. We eventually expanded it to a bipartisan thing, which was another set of meetings that brought the women together over dinner, all women—Republicans and Democrats. In some ways, we really tried to set up our own kinds of relationships that would help counterbalance our continued exclusion from the real track.

KOED: Did you talk about that, as a group?

MOSELEY BRAUN: Sure. We did. And we talked about the issues. That was the nice thing about it. We talked about the issues in a bipartisan way. You knew who was going to be there on choice issues. You knew who was going to be there on research issues. You knew who was going to be there on pension issues. There was some rivalry inside. But that all got smoothed over, and we were kind of protective of each other. There was a bond among the women that was very important.

Read Senator Carol Moseley Braun's full interview.