My earliest memories of my mom were of her multi-tasking - preparing dinner while checking on homework and housework; clearing the dinner plates while setting out bowls for breakfast; making sure we ate our breakfast while lining up bread, lunch meats, apples, and snacks assembly-line style so we could make our lunches.
The last time I saw Ted Kennedy was a generation after my first meeting, at the Senate subway below the Capitol on Obama's Inauguration Day. He was his usual gregarious and gracious self - with beaming smile and booming voice wishing my husband and me good luck with our pregnancy and expressing his excitement about the new president.
Sitting at a candidate rally is similar to sitting in a ballyard. Both give you the opportunity to assess the technical metrics and reflect on the intangibles - what baseball calls 'make up' and politics calls 'character' - the leadership, talent and maturity to add value to a venture.
The beauty of our democracy lies in the American value of equality: if you vote, you have a seat at the table. If you speak, you have a chance to persuade others. A billionaire and a minimum wage earner have the same power at the ballot box.
To far too many, science is a four-letter word, and under the modern media's false equivalency standards, a handful of skeptics are viewed as counterweights to the vast majority of scientists who acknowledge mankind's proven role in global warming.
Growing up, in church we had the homily; at home it's what I call the 'momily' - the inspirational and instructive mom-isms that every family has.
Campaign boot camp started as an opportunity to work in a grassroots way with people who were running for Congress. Colleagues on the Democratic National Committee were batting around different possibilities. I said, 'We should have boot camps.'
Baseball calls it a curve ball for a reason: you just don't know where some pitches will land. Your ace could get injured. Your golden glover could err. Your team could sit through a rain delay. Your manager could get ejected. Your bench must be broad and deep enough to overcome.
Once Joe Paterno learned that his former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was showering with a young boy in the Penn State football locker room, he had two choices: think of the child as his own and call police. Or not. He chose the latter.
America's demographic shift was obvious to everyone in the 2010 Census - but Republicans stubbornly rejected math, facts, and polls to their electoral peril. While Republicans tailored their platform by and for the pale stale and male, among us, Obama and Democrats are embracing America's diverse mosaic.
Mitt Romney has won the 2012 presidential nomination by promising Republicans that he would end a so-called 'culture of dependency' on welfare - welfare defined as 'free stuff' and food stamps for poor folks, not tax breaks for Big Oil or tax shelters for Bain executives.
When it comes to voting rights, Democrats push voter protection while Republicans shout voter fraud in a crowded polling place. Democrats think anyone who can vote should vote; Republicans think everyone who should vote can vote.
When we talk about feminism - equality without apology for all - we can't be talking about for all white women or all highly educated women but all women, regardless of color, class, creed, sexual orientation or identity.
Having seen my mom in community volunteer work my whole life and in Congress for 25 years, it is true as she often says that she sees her service as an extension of her role as a mother and a grandmother.
Remember the Dreamers whose patriotism was praised when the Democratic House passed, and the Senate filibustered - the DREAM Act in 2010? Washington promised a path to citizenship, not just a roadblock to deportation.
We actually know that our crumbling pipelines, roads, and bridges are ticking time bombs. That is why President Obama and Congressional Democrats have pushed to fund jobs that repair our roads, runways, and railways - we can't have first rate American communities with third-world American infrastructure.
Women are the majority of immigrants yet the minority of immigrant employment visas; immigrant and native born women who work in the service arena - such as domestic workers - are not valued for their work, making pennies on the dollar compared to male counterparts; and, women are disproportionately affected by family reunification policies.
Ted Kennedy's inspiration will loom large over our politics for years to come, uplift us in the healthcare fight, and help to achieve his dream of liberty and justice for all.
In politics, all candidates and volunteers are ambassadors to voters who expect better than parroting the politics of personal destruction. Being able to find common ground at the higher ground is what separates the stateswoman from the stuntwoman.
A generation of Earth Days has conditioned millions of us to be green in our homes yet we must apply the same ethic to our politics if we want to save our planet and our democracy.