Pelosi on Struggles as First Female Speaker: ‘It Was Worth It’ (Video)
November 4, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)— Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has a message to other aspiring female politicians: “It was worth it.” A Republican tidal wave in the mid-term elections handed the Speaker’s job to Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), after a grueling two years marked by unprecedented GOP obstructionism and vitriolic rhetoric. But Pelosi deftly overcame it to pass an impressive package of landmark legislation, including healthcare reform and Wall Street reform. She became one of the most powerful and successful Speakers in history, and for her efforts she was viciously demonized by Republicans. And at times, even by male members of her own caucus. The day after the elections, hate talker Rush Limbaugh gleefully played, “Ding, dong the witch is dead.” Asked by ABC News’ Diane Sawyer how she coped with being demonized by the GOP, Pelosi responded, “I take that as a compliment.”
Pelosi made her comments during an exclusive interview with “World News” anchor Diane Sawyer. During the interview, she expressed pride in her legislative accomplishments, while expressing sadness for the political losses of her Democratic colleagues. And now that it’s all over, Pelosi has “no regrets” and has this to say about her tenure as the first female Speaker of the House: “Job well done.” Indeed it was.
“Being the first woman speaker and breaking the marble ceiling is pretty important,” said Pelosi “Now it’s time to move on.”
Will Speaker Pelosi remain in the House as Minority Leader? She hasn’t made a decision yet about her future.
“I’ll have a conversation with my caucus, I’ll have a conversation with my family, and pray over it, and decide how to go forward,” she said “But today isn’t that day.”
After the electoral losses, Pelosi said she spoke to President Obama on the telephone and the two of them “expressed pride in the work that we had done.”
The Republicans have vowed to repeal the historic healthcare reform legislation enacted by the Obama administration. Although Pelosi doesn’t believe a repeal would ever happen, she said it would be “most unfortunate,” if the GOP somehow managed to deprive Americans of the availability to quality and affordable healthcare.
Pelosi said she had no time at the moment, to feel bad for herself, but she and the President are saddened by the electoral losses of so many respected Democratic lawmakers.
“We’re sad about some of the losses of members of great seniority and distinction in the Congress, and some very new members, who will no longer be serving with us,” Pelosi said. “It’s just lost to the Congress.”
Perhaps her most poignant remarks were directed towards other female politicians. Despite the personal attacks, mostly from conservative male politicians whom resent being told what to do by a powerful woman, Pelosi said it was all worth it.
“What’s really important is for women in politics and government to understand the gratitude we have towards those who went before, and the responsibility we have to those who come after. And I would want women to know whatever the struggle, it was worth it. And whatever the risk, it was worth it as well.”
The American people were the real losers on Tuesday. They just haven’t figured it out yet. But they will, and soon.