Barbara Mikulski
If there is more "bullwhip and buzz saw" than "serenade by starlight" in the persona of U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), it's because she isn't afraid to batter feelings in fighting for what she believes in. Certainly, not everyone likes the outspoken way she cuts through business-as-usual in pursuit of her goals. "Barbara, you just don't have a therapeutic personality," is how one of her teachers once put it, and Mikulski proudly declares that Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Bill Clinton all agree. "And that's what they thought at [the National Institutes of Health] 10 years ago," she adds, recalling the day of what she calls her Freedom Ride, when she drove with three like-minded female colleagues from the capitol to NIH's Bethesda campus and embarrassed NIH into making a sea change in its women's health research--namely, to have some.

In 1990, Mikulski was outraged...

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