If the American electorate ever actually throws the bastards behind the shutdown out, at least one career legislator has a plan B in place. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the Maryland Democrat who's the Senate's longest-serving woman, is also the published author of a pair of novels, notes Roll Call in a look at the little-known tomes. Written in the 1990s, after she was elected to the Senate but before she was any kind of a legislative heavyweight, Capitol Offense and Capitol Venture feature—what else?—a crime-fighting woman senator, though Mikulski has said that her heroine isn't really autobiographical.
To wit, the fictitious Sen. Norrie Gorzack represents Pennsylvania and she practically towers over the 4-foot-11 Mikulski: “She’s 5-feet-4,” Mikulski says. “I’ve always wanted to be 5-feet-4.” But Gorzack, who is appointed to finish the term of a senator who dies, does impart her thoughts on being a member of the Senate (something Mikulski is more than familiar with: she's served since 1987), and takes up the issue of MIA soldiers. Meanwhile, adds the Hill, Mikulski raised a few eyebrows for a completely different reason last week when she called supporters of Ted Cruz "Tea Baggers." (Read more US Senate stories.)