Dianne Feinstein

Victory Speech - November 6, 2018

Dianne Feinstein
November 06, 2018— California
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I think there's probably not much in life that's better than to have that kind of an introduction from a granddaughter. Thank you, thank you. And thank you ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being here. Thank you Willie Brown. I remember a long, long time ago, Willie Brown was the very first and only public official to support me when I ran for the Board of Supervisors in 1969, and Willie Brown has been a friend, a mentor, and for me a scholar in the art of politics ever since. Ladies and gentlemen, where are you Willie? Would you give him a big round of applause please?

I think this is a very hard time to be in the American political arena. I think the country is very factionalized. They call it tribes, I grew up in political life and never heard of tribes I heard of parties, I heard of parties working together, I heard a passing good legislation to integrate this nation, to make people more efficient and productive in their lives, and that was always the politics and the legislation that I understood and participated in. Now, I go to the Senate with 25 years under my belt.

When Joe Biden, some 20-plus years ago, asked me if I would be willing to be the first woman on the Senate Judiciary Committee, I said to him Joe I'm not a lawyer and he said that doesn't matter but things here have to change and that was following directly the Anita Hill hearings. Now maybe some of you are too young to remember this, but I happen to have been in an airport and I saw a big group of people around a television set, so I went over to take a look and what did I see, but an all-male Senate Judiciary Committee grilling Anita Hill and it was not nice and it was not what one would like to see. And that was my incentive to run in 1992. It became the year of the woman because both Barbara Boxer and I were elected from California, two women from Washington, and two women from Maine, and we broke the lock on power for women in the Senate of the United States.

So we are now up in the 20s and growing and the pride I take in seeing this institution grow, widen, and change is just enormous. There's still very, very big problems out there. There are problems for women, there are problems for young women, the me to movement, there are problems in our economy that need to be straightened out, in our social structure that need to be straightened out, education, all these things that make a great nation like ours, we can participate in with specifics. And I just want you to know, that this is the greatest honor in my life to represent my city and my state in the Senate of the United States.

I want you to know that the number of you that are here because, after all I've had a few terms, is really is really surprising to me and as I walked into this jammed room somewhat overheated I thought you know how lucky I am to have a constituency like this. How lucky I am to have a family, husband, daughter, stepdaughters that support me and I just want you to know ladies and gentlemen, that I will do everything in my power to be the kind and type of United States Senator not only that I have been but hopefully having learned from the years gained the experience able to provide the leadership as the lead democrat on the Judiciary Committee first woman…

What's not lost on anyone is when I got there, there were no women, and now Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, a senator from Hawaii Mazie Hirono, now there are four women on the Democratic side of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and we work together and we work with others and I hope you'll find our service very forceful and special for you. Those of you that are women, those of you who are men, this is such a great country and it's been factionalized and trivialized with rhetoric. We must stop that. We must come together as the great power that we are for the good of the nation and I think of mankind. Thank you for your support.