Tuesday March 29, 2011 | 03:37 PM

Sen. Olympia Snowe today paid tribute on the Senate floor to a legislative “sister-in-arms,” the late Geraldine Ferraro.

The Maine Republican noted that she and two other current senators, Democrats Barbara Boxer of California and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, served with Ferraro in the House before the New York Democrat was picked by Walter Mondale to be his running mate on the 1984 Democratic presidential ticket.
 
And she and Ferraro, Snowe said, started their House careers together in 1979, a year where the total number of women in the U.S. House of Representatives totaled 16. Today, Snowe noted, there are 74 women in the House and 17 in the Senate.
 
“Looking back, I take enormous pride, as I know both Senators Mikulski and Boxer do, that we spoke as women first, not as Republicans or Democrats…that women’s issues transcended partisan lines for us,” Snowe said.  “The fact was, we just couldn’t afford to draw partisan lines with women under-represented in Congress.” 
 
Snowe said that Ferraro, “spent a lifetime making certain that the path she helped pave was available and accessible to every woman with the courage and will to travel it.  And so, today, it is a privilege for me to extol this remarkable woman whose indelible imprint upon the political and public policy arenas will be felt for generations to come

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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