Barbara Mikulski

Leadership is creating a state of mind in others. The difference between being a leader and manager, all due respect to managers, is that leaders have to create states of mind. But a leader, first of all, has to have a clear state of mind, which is usually her own vision, which energizes her, motivates others, and then creates that state of mind in others.

I think George Mitchell was the right guy for the right time, and many people will note his spectacular foreign policy accomplishments, both in and out of office. I think all would note his devotion to Maine; that was number one. The fact he did work in a bipartisan basis with Bill Cohen. And for me, he helped the first Democratic woman get elected.

I held out my hand and George Mitchell said, “Like in everything else, you lead and I’ll follow.” And the crowd broke up, and we did a twirl or two around the dance floor. And that’s like him, you know, he was there for his members, he campaigned for us, he believed in us, and he was really a good sport as well.

I think the legacy was set because the way George Mitchell was the leader enabled Tom Daschle to be the leader he is. It carried on the spirit of integrity and of reform, of also working both with committee chairmen but bringing in the newer members to be able to have a voice and a say and participate in the deliberations, to always look at a modern way of doing it.