Get Ready, Stephen: Lilly Ledbetter to Appear on “Colbert Report”

October 30, 2012

My pal Lilly Ledbetter will be on The Colbert Report on Halloween. I think it’s only fair that I issue a warning to Mr. Colbert: I think he may have finally met his match. I’m thinking he won’t know what to do with the lethal combination of her sweet Southern drawl, her infectious laugh, and her front-row perspective on history.

My friendship with Lilly continues to be one of the great privileges of my life. The friendship has taken me all over the United States — to AAUW National Conventions (she hasn’t missed one since 2009), to various AAUW state conventions around the country, and to the Democratic National Conventions in 2008 and 2012. We’ll do New Orleans together for AAUW’s 2013 National Convention in June. I do some of her letter- and speech-writing, and she mentioned me in her book.

This great friendship formed despite meeting under unfortunate circumstances: The U.S. Supreme Court had just ruled against Lilly in its wrongheaded May 2007 decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. Lilly and I lobbied Capitol Hill together after the decision came down. Our work helped pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and we grew even closer as we lobbied together over the years on the Paycheck Fairness Act. Since 2009, Lilly and I have worked tirelessly to pass this important legislation to close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963. Throughout our advocacy work, Lilly has always marveled, “How is it possible you’re not a lawyer?” I always respond, ”I just play one on TV.”

But she’s not just a friend of mine — she’s a friend to AAUW. Lilly has taken the time to get to know AAUW members across the country, and she does so because she sincerely enjoys it. She always tells me that sitting down with AAUW members is like relaxing in her own family room. She basically did just that with my own family recently. Much to our delight, Lilly had dinner with me, my mom, and my brother on a recent campaign swing through Ohio.

I expect that Colbert will throw a few curveballs Lilly’s way — and, considering the timing, he may even work in a Halloween costume or two. But I’m not worried. I know Lilly will handle his questions with aplomb, especially if he asks about her own Halloween costume. That one’s easy. She’s a feminist icon.

P.S. Interested in learning Lilly’s story and supporting future fair pay efforts? Everyone who donates $130 or more to AAUW receives a limited-edition copy of her book, Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond

Update: Watch the interview by following the link below:

Lisa Maatz By:   |   October 30, 2012


  1. Lisa Maatz says:

    I was supposed to be in NYC with Lilly for the tapping of the Colbert show. Of course, Hurricane Sandy thought otherwise. LIlly is in NYC weathering the storm, although she was evacuated out of her first hotel because it was very close to that crane dangling from the 90-story! Yikes! She is weathering the storm, and awaiting word about whether or not the show will tape tomorrow, which was the day she was scheduled to appear. More as I know it!

  2. Amy Cross says:

    I don’t usually make SURE i watch something but I will try my very best tonight. He had better let her talk. Since she’s a southerner, hopefully, she’ll bring back his Ma’aming upbrining.

  3. Paula Maggio says:

    Lilly is my hero. I can’t wait to see here face off with Colbert. She will definitely charm his pants off.

  4. Lilly was absolutely outstanding and I applaud the way she kept on message even when being thrown typical Colbert one-liners. Lilly, I am so getting the AAUW edition of your book today. Keep up the fight for American families!

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