Against that backdrop, the private gatherings among the sisterhood are a source of both power and perspective. They occur every few weeks or months, depending on the need. Venues include the Senators’ homes—and occasionally the unlikely confines of the Capitol’s Strom Thurmond Room, a space named for one of the chamber’s most notorious womanizers. “We started the dinners 20 years ago on the idea that there has to be a zone of civility,” says Mikulski. Once a year the group also dines with the female Supreme Court Justices. Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Select Committee on Intelligence, holds regular dinners for women in the national-security world. Even the female chiefs of staff and communications directors have started regular get-togethers of their own.
In April the Senate women breached their no-outsider rule by agreeing to dine at the White House with President Obama. Going around the table, California Senator Barbara Boxer remarked that 100 years ago they’d have been meeting outside the White House gates to demand the right to vote. (“A hundred years ago, I’d have been serving you,” Obama replied.)
This excerpt is from a TIME Magazine article about the adults in Washington being women. The interaction between Sen. Boxer and President Obama stood out to me. You can read the rest of the piece here
President Barack Obama shares a laugh with Jean Meyer, the grandmother of Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer, second from left, as they and members of the Meyer family walk along the Colonnade of the White House, Sept. 15, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
First Lady Michelle Obama talks with Washington, D.C., area high school students who attended the Teen Design Fair, in the Red Room of the White House prior to the Cooper-Hewitt Design Awards luncheon, Sept. 13, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden greet a group of teachers, veterans, first responders, and business owners in the Roosevelt Room of the White House before making a statement on the American Jobs Act, Sept. 12, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)