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October 12, 2021 48 min

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has a truly American story: born in Cuba, emigrates to Miami with her family at age 8, works as a teacher before being elected to the Florida legislature - and then makes history as the first Hispanic woman in American history to be elected to Congress. This is a great conversation about her one-of-a-kind life, history-making career, great political stories, and advice & insight to candidates, elected officials, lobbyists, and staffers after serving nearly 30 years in the U.S. House.

IN THIS EPISODE

Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen’s early memories growing up in Cuba and her sudden emigration to Miami…

She breaks down why Cuban Americans started to align with the Republican Party…

The conversation that got her involved in politics for the first time…

She talks about her House predecessor, the legendary Congressman Claude Pepper…

How she overcame racist tactics to become the first Hispanic woman elected to Congress…

The surprising way she learned she made history on Election Night…

What surprised her as she got her feet wet in Congress…

She’s remembers how Newt Gingrich changed the Republican Party and transformed Congress…

Why she didn’t sign the 1994 Republican “Contract with America”…

The House Democrat she remembers for brass-knuckle tactics…

She remembers times she was “in the dog house” for breaking with GOP party leadership…

Her signature accomplishments after 30 years in the house…

She remembers the intensity around the Elian Gonzalez custody case, occurring right in her district…

She weighs in on if the Elian Gonzalez case cost Al Gore Florida in 2000 and ultimately the presidency…

Her memories of the impeachment of Bill Clinton…

Why she never ran statewide and didn’t run for re-election in 2018…

Her take on what makes a good lobbyist…

Her tips on running on a congressional office…

She remembers Marco Rubio as a young intern in her office…

What does she miss about being in Congress…

Her take on why there are so many Florida politicians on the national scene…

She weighs in on whether Florida remains a “swing state”…

Her advice on what people should do when visiting Miami…

AND…537 Votes, The Bay of Pigs, Beltway Fever, Brigade 2506, Jeb Bush, Kathy Castor, Fidel Castro, Liz Cheney, Shirley Chisholm, Bill Clinton, Billy Corben, Katie Couric, Cuba Libres, the Defense of Marriage Act, Tom DeLay, Val Demings, Ron DeSantis, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, Bob Dole, Dante Fascell, first airplane rides, Tom Foley, get-along and go-along Republicans, Newt Gingrich, Elian Gonzalez, Homestead Air Force Base, Steny Hoyer, Sam Johnson, JFK, Bill Lehman, David Leahy, Dexter Lehtinen, John Lewis, La Loba Feroz, John McCain, Bob Michel, a minority mentality, Stephanie Murphy, Obamacare, olive-green military attire, Red Pepper, Robert Redford, Janet Reno, Steve Schale, snowbirds, South Beach, SWAT teams, the University of Havana, Versailles, Don Young, & more!

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