Helloooooo out there…. Senator asks if anyone paying attention to speech

April 6, 2011

Senators go to the Senate floor and make speeches about issues near and dear to their constituents all day long — but whether anyone is actually listening is another matter. USA-CONGRESS/

Making speeches on the Senate floor gets the words into the official record, but often they are made to a near-empty chamber so it is never quite clear whether the words are heard.

That can be frustrating for politicians used to getting plenty of attention.

Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski got fed up when she was speaking about the budget fight and how a government shutdown would hurt port and airport operations. As she talked, she saw the senator who was presiding over the chamber, another Democrat, apparently checking her BlackBerry.

“I’m telling you, Madam President, this is not going to be good. But you know what’s not really good? Not only the consequences but the way we’re functioning here. Madam President, Hello? Madam President? I don’t know if my speech is not that attention-getting but could I have your attention?” Mikulski said.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand responded dutifully: “The senator has consumed ten minutes.”

Mikulski replied: “Well then my time is up. Maybe the Senate’s not paying attention, but the American people are paying attention.”

(Is she sure about that?)

Photo credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (Senator Mikulski during her ceremonial swearing-in)

One comment

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Senator Mikulski, if you and the rest of the legislators are interested in us listening to you, you might try listening to US. I don’t know you, and you are not my “representative.” (No one really is, it would seem.) It matters not if you are Democrat, Republican, or something else. You are a politico, and the lot of you are running our nation and our people into the ground. The only audience you seem to turn a receptive ear to are those who fund your campaigns, Big Pharma, oil, banking and insurance interests. Rather than despairing that your speech isn’t being listened to, try listening instead. I think you would get a lot farther that way.

Posted by BowMtnSpirit | Report as abusive

[...] with her Blackbery instead of paying attention to her job (or Mikulski’s speech). She stopped right in the middle of her screed agaisnt a government shutdown to scold Gilly with thi…: “I’m telling you, Madam President, this is not going to be good. But you know what’s not [...]