There's been a lot of chatter on the right in regards to nightmare America will become if Nancy Pelosi becomes House Speaker as expected if the Democrats win control of the House this November. Her evil San Francisco ultra-liberal ways would no doubt be the death knell of this once great republic; at least, according to administration mouthpieces like Bill O'Reilly, Brit Hume and Sean Hannity.
The Washington Post has a decidedly different take on her. The piece is a nice chronicle of her time as minority leader, including her ascension through the ranks of the Democratic minority. It definitely paints a picture of a very strong and tough person.
If polled, I was one of those people who had no real opinion of her. Certainly I supported her in that she was a Democrat and I am nothing if not a blazing partisan, but I will readily admit to not knowing all that much about her, other than the basic biography. The Post piece was a nice introduction to her and those wishing to know the future Speaker of the House should give it a read. Find the whole article here.
Dismissed by her critics as too liberal, too elitist and too lacking in gravitas, Pelosi, serving her 10th term, has proved to be a tough-minded tactician who has led her caucus from the political center and kept the fractious House Democrats in line. Pelosi and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) rarely work together, and the Democrats voted along party lines 88 percent of the time last year -- the most unified voting record in 50 years -- according to a Congressional Quarterly study. By hanging together, the Democrats have thwarted many GOP initiatives, including the centerpiece of Bush's second-term agenda, restructuring Social Security.
In describing her dealings with fellow Democrats, Pelosi said, "I expect a certain level of discipline when we have agreed on where we're going." Some members, she said, "mistake sometimes my courtesy for a lack of strength, and they ought not to do that."