POLITICS

Diane Sawyer remembers Tucson shooting’s youngest victim

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Yeas and Nays,Politics,Nikki Schwab

Diane Sawyer got a taste of politics when she worked in the Nixon White House, but never got the bug to run for office herself.

"Absolutely never thought of it," she told Yeas & Nays. "I have a questioner's spirit and I know every day I'm where I should be," referring to her journalism career. 

The ABC World News anchor swept into Wednesday night's 5th annual Women to Watch Awards dinner to pay tribute to the women who someday might run for office. The event was put on by the organization Running Start, a non-profit that encourages and trains women from a young age to get involved in politics. Sawyer was there to announce a scholarship on behalf of a very special young woman, Tucson shooting victim Christina-Taylor Green.

She characterized the 9-year-old as a tireless debater. "She had a nickname, 'the bobcat,' because she gave this little snarl if anybody challenged her or something didn't go the way it should go," she said. Sawyer remembered the day that Green's promising political career was stolen from her.

"Every day I wake up with a lot of other people, a lot of other journalists and we report the news," Sawyer started. "And then there are some days you wake up and there is an event so searing that it seems to crack the sky, and all you can hope is that a light will eventually shine through." The scholarship, whose recipient will be chosen by Green's parents Roxanna and John (who were in the audience), will allow one girl from Southern Arizona to attend a Running Start program in D.C.

The rest of the evening was more lighthearted.

Awards were presented to Kakenya Ntaiya, the founder of the Kakenya Center for Excellence, Maimah Karmo, founder of the Tigerlily Foundation, student activist Maria Peeples and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., who was elected to Congress in 2010.

Former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers was awarded the trailblazer award, the final prize of the evening. "Trailblazer is another way of saying the old lady award," Myers said. "They had to come up with a new category to get the old broads in, but I just want you to know that the old broads still have a few more acts," Myers added before dishing out advice to younger women in the audience. 

Presenters included DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., ABC's Claire Shipman and the BBC's Katty Kay.

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Nikki Schwab

Staff Reporter - Yeas & Nays
The Washington Examiner