Don't Mess with Nancy Pelosi

The California congresswoman leads the Democrats with a fiery style that could make her the first woman Speaker of the House

Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the Democrats in the House, portrays herself as a polite, grandmotherly lady. She constantly discusses her five grandchildren, makes sure her office is stocked with Ghirardelli chocolates, perpetually smiles and never swears in a business in which almost everyone else does. She even has a few cute quirks she and her staff would love to tell you about: a diet consisting mostly of chocolate and chocolate ice cream, and so much energy, she rarely sleeps. Just the other night, she will tell you, she was up watching MTV after midnight.

Don't believe it for a...