WASHINGTON — Speaking to a gathering of EMILY’s List supporters, Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz stressed that Democrats would capitalize in 2014 on the gains they made with women in 2012.
“We have to double down. We have to double down in 2014. We’ve got to make sure we recruit more women to run for office,” she said. “Because it is not just a slogan that when women run women win. They do. They do. And when women run Democrats win.”
A record number of women will serve in the 113th Congress, including 20 in the Senate and 81 in the House.
“There is no longer an all-male state legislature anywhere in the county,” Wasserman Schultz added to the list of women’s accomplishments.
Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman herself, added that while Republicans got “white and more male” the Democratic side of the aisle became more diverse. “We now have a majority-minority-and-female Democratic caucus,” she said, for the “first time in history.”
Wasserman Schultz gave EMILY’s List — a political action committee that works to elect pro-choice, Democratic females — a big congratulations for its efforts to get more Democratic women in office and the polls.
“If women don’t celebrate one another, then we’ve already seen that nobody celebrates us,” she said as she tipped her hat to EMILY’s List and its president Stephanie Schriock as a political force for gains women made in the House and Senate on Nov. 6.
The DNC chair recalled the concern she had during the 2010 midterms when the number of women in Congress dropped for the first time since 1982.
“There was a lot of soul-searching,” she said.
While women “got to work” recruiting and campaigning to get Democrats, especially Democratic women, in office, she said, they also got help from Republicans and their public comments about women’s reproductive rights.
Wasserman Schultz employed the Ginger Rogers line that “women do all the same things men do but they do them in high heels backwards.”
“I’d love to have a man spend a day in the life of the women in this room and try to get done what we balance together in order to make sure we can make everything work and help the people we care about thrive,” she said.