The scramble to fill the shoes of Sen. Barbara Mikulski is on (“Raise Hell Instead of Money: Mikulski announces her last term in Senate,” March 6). I hope that whoever succeeds her will continue to embody the principles that have been the hallmark of her career.
While remaining firmly committed to liberal ideals in the finest sense of the word, Mikulski has a unique ability to bridge ideological differences and to serve as a unifying force. Her appeal comes from a genuine concern for all her constituents, for the rich and the poor. She never forgot her working-class roots and has been a tireless advocate on behalf of the little guy.
I especially recall one time a number of years ago when I met with her in her Senate office along with other Jewish leaders. She chastised us for not being more outspoken in our advocacy for Israel. She urged us to meet with our other elected representatives and to do more and work harder to galvanize our community on behalf of Israel.
As a member of an ethnic minority from Baltimore and always appreciative of the support she received from the Jewish community, especially early in her career, she felt very much at home with Jewish groups. Whenever she would speak at a synagogue, because of her height, she would always make sure there was, as she called it, “ the box the bar mitzvah boy stands on” so she could be seen. No doubt about it, when it came to issues important to the Jewish community, she was seen and she was heard.
She will be missed. Let us hope that whoever follows her will be an equally tireless advocate on behalf of the issues that are important to the Jewish community and will be as devoted to Israel as she has been throughout her career.