When Barbara Mikulski, all 4'11" of her, retired, the U.S. Senate lost a giant (you knew that was coming, right?). Sure, she was colorful; Highlandtown isn't known for producing shrinking violets. And yes, she hung around Washington a long time, serving in Congress longer than any other woman. Mostly, though, she was committed and tireless, and determined that her constituents' voices be heard. But she could also be conciliatory; the informal women's caucuses she initiated were one of the few bipartisan efforts in Congress in the past 20 years.
— Chris Kaltenbach