Meet Deb Fischer, Nebraska's First Female SenatorS

Deb Fischer will be sworn in today as Nebraska's first female senator, a title she won in a landslide. (58 percent to former Senator Bob Kerrey's 42 percent.) But what is Fischer, a 61-year-old cattle rancher, all about — and what does her win mean for Nebraska's women? This PBS interview gives us an idea.

On taxes:

When Judy Woodruff asked Fischer, who ran on a strong anti-tax increase platform, if she would consider additional taxes on the 1% of Americans who make over $450,000 a year — part of the deal that came out of the Senate that the House is now considering — she said:

Well, of course we have to provide those tax cuts to the 99 percent. But we're playing politics by doing it.

We're saying, OK, we're going to provide tax cuts for these people, but the rest, they have to pay more. We don't need to create more division in this country. I mean, just look at Washington. I'm on the outside right now until Thursday.

Woodruff badgered her for a while longer but she wouldn't give a straight answer on whether she would oppose those tax increases. (She did say again that "talk like that just makes it worse." Aww, poor one-percenters. Think of their feelings!)

On gun control:

Fischer thought the Sandy Hook massacre was sad, but is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment (shocker) and "so I believe that we don't need to act swiftly now in reaction and having an emotional reaction to a horrible situation and put on limits on our constitutional rights."

What about the NRA's suggestion to put an armed guard in every school? "Those decisions...need to be made at the local level."

On the federal government's role:

I do believe in limited government. I believe government has certain priorities, and elected officials need to decide what those priorities are. You have to determine what a core responsibility of government is.

I was a state senator for eight years, as you mentioned. And as a state senator, I always based my decisions on the priorities that I believed were a responsibility of state government.

And those were public education, public safety, public infrastructure and taking care of those who truly can't care for themselves. We have to do that on the federal level as well, because government can't be everything to everyone. You have to make those tough choices, or we're going to continue to see our debt grow by more than $16 trillion, where we are now. That's not sustainable. That can't continue.

If you're wondering what that means re: Fisher's feelings on abortion: she supports exceptions for the life of the mother but not for rape or incest, and her candidacy was backed by the state's largest anti-abortion group, Nebraska Right to Life, and anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, which spent $40,000 on ads against Kerrey.

Sorry, Nebraskan ladies/gun control advocates/99%; it's gonna be a rough few years.

[PBS]