Sen. Marsha Blackburn reflects on conversation with a stranger that changed her career

Sen. Marsha Blackburn reflects on conversation with a stranger that changed her career

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. reflected on a memorable conversation she had early in her career as an unapologetic conservative on a new episode of Fox Nation’s “Dana Perino’s Book Club.”

Highlighting her new book, “The Mind of a Conservative Woman: Seeking the Best for Family and Country,” Blackburn — Tennessee’s first female senator — sat down with Fox News’ Dana Perino to discuss how her values helped pave a path to success despite the obstacles she faced along the way. 

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Blackburn recalled a conversation she had with a stranger in a cafe during her first successful congressional campaign in 2002.

“I was actually in one of our little cafes on the town square and I walked up to this gentleman, I gave him my card and I said ‘Hi, I’m State Senator Marsha Blackburn and I am running for a seat in the U.S. Congress,'” Blackburn recalled.

“It was an open seat, it was very competitive that year and bear in mind, I had been the only Republican female in the state senate …,” she explained, “so I gave him the info … and this guy motioned me back over and he held up the card and he said, ‘Little lady, if you win this thing, what are we going to call you? Congresslady? Congresswoman? Congressgirl?'”

“And I looked at him,” Blackburn said flatly, “and I said, ‘You know, sir, congressman will be just fine.'”

At the time, Blackburn said she ” felt like that was the right thing to say to him because thinking in terms of [having] a female to fill that job was something he was not comfortable with, so I wanted to take away one objection, and that was what were we going to call me.”

The GOP has come a long way since then, with at least 27 women set to join the House Republican Caucus when the 117th Congress is sworn in this coming January. 

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Despite this, Blackburn told Perino that the experience served as a “great lesson … because it told me that one of the things that we as conservative women have to do is to really meet people where they are and listen to them if we think we are going to move them to a point where they agree with us.”

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