U.S. Sen. Katie Britt (R-Montgomery) is the youngest Republican woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate.
Now, she is also a published author. Britt released her memoir, "God Calls Us to Do Hard Things," on November 7.
A young first-term U.S. Senator named John Kennedy published his book, "Profiles in Courage," which helped propel him onto the national scene. Now, there is growing national interest in Alabama's young (41) U.S. Senator.
Monday on "CBS Mornings," Britt was asked about the possibility of her becoming the vice presidential candidate on the Donald Trump ticket. Her answer was cut short as time appeared to run out for the live segment. This is about all she was allowed to get in:
Host Tony Dokoupil asked, "Would you be interested in running with Donald Trump on a Republican ticket?"
"Oh, goodness," Britt replied. "I am just working hard in the U.S. Senate. And we're working hard to bring those policies back in place, honestly. Under President Trump, our border was more secure…"
Dokoupil [interrupting], "Senator."
Britt continued, "We were more peaceful…"
"I'm sorry, they're going to take us off," Dokoupil said.
Britt will likely be asked the question again, hopefully when she is allowed time to answer.
Britt's book is sub-titled "Lessons from the Alabama Wiregrass." She was raised in Enterprise in the heart of Alabama's Wiregrass region, a peanut-growing area of small towns, rural farmlands and a large military base. Her parents owned and ran a hardware store where Katie worked as a teen.
The book is largely her memoir of events as she made an improbable life journey from the hardware store to the U.S. Senate (so far).
The book opens on a date vividly remembered by Alabama folks – April 27, 2011. That's the day a deadly tornado hit thousands in Alabama, including the home of Wesley and Katie Britt in Tuscaloosa. They, their baby and toddler, two sisters, and their dog survived a dramatic hit that destroyed their home, possessions and cars.
The actions of Wes Britt, a six-foot-nine former offensive lineman at Alabama and the New England Patriots, could be depicted in a movie about the Alabama tornado – or about the life of Katie Britt. Wes moved the four adults, two small kids and a dog to a safe place, blocked the exposed doorway with a large piece of furniture, and held a mattress overhead. It worked. The space that they had just departed was destroyed. They were safe, thankful, and reflective of why they were spared when many were not. 64 Alabama people were killed, and hundreds were injured that day.
Katie and her family, the Boyds, were quite tornado-aware. Her family had suffered through the Enterprise tornado of 2007, with nine killed, including eight students at Katie Britt's alma mater, Enterprise High School.
Still in high school, Katie was selected for the "Girls' State" program, where she was elected governor. There's a harbinger.
From Enterprise, the Katie Britt journey went to the University of Alabama, where Katie was elected president of the Student Government Association. There's another harbinger.
The SGA at Alabama is an unofficial training ground for future Alabama leaders. Its 107 former SGA presidents include an amazing list of:
Four U.S. Senators; one governor; three congressmen; two lieutenant governors; two secretaries of state; one attorney general; one Public Service Commissioner; one state auditor; one mayor of Birmingham; one national president of the American Bar Association; three state chairs of the Alabama Democratic Party; one federal judge; and numerous judges, lobbyists, attorneys, local elected officials, and successful businessmen and women.
After the University of Alabama and a period of practicing law, Britt wound up in two stints in Washington as deputy press secretary for U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa), then full press secretary, then campaign coordinator and chief of staff; up the ladder on the Shelby staff. The only higher position there was – Shelby's seat itself. That is exactly what she did.
To be elected U.S. Senator, a candidate needs to be a real Alabamian and not a Washington staffer. So, Britt and her family came to Montgomery, where she was hired as CEO of the influential Business Council of Alabama.
Britt's journey as a Senate candidate started at 2% in the polls and ended up with her winning at 63%. Another unlikely journey.
Britt's book tour kicks off on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Books-a-Million, 7074 East Chase Parkway, Montgomery. Tickets, including a book purchase, can be found here.
The 288-page book can be purchased for $27 at Amazon: here.
Jim Zeigler is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at [email protected].
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.