Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010

Nancy Pelosi

In what turned out to be her last year as Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi led the 111th Congress through one of its most prolific and productive sessions in the past 50 years. Along with her colleague Harry Reid in the Senate, Pelosi overcame numerous procedural hurdles to pass President Obama's historic health care reform law by a painfully narrow margin, and in June, the House passed the final version of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. But any sense of triumph for Pelosi was short-lived, as she and the Democrats proved utterly incapable of selling those achievements to voters more concerned with unemployment and a floundering economy. That disconnect, and the fact that Pelosi herself was a potent rallying cry for Republican and Tea Party voters angry about an overreaching Congress, cost the party more than 60 House seats in this year's midterm elections — and Pelosi her leadership post. In the wake of the humbling defeat, most observers assumed Pelosi would give up Washington for good. Yet three days after the election, the unmatched Democratic fundraiser and savvy strategist once again confounded the pundits by announcing she wasn't going anywhere and would in fact run to take over as minority leader.