The first woman Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, gave an interview to CNN and announced “it’s time for new blood” in her party. However, she also believes that in the current political climate it is too risky for her NOT to be at the negotiating table because of the nature of the president.
“If Hillary Clinton had won, and the Affordable Care Act was protected — I feel very proprietary about that — I was happy to go my way,” Pelosi told CNN‘s Christiane Amanpour in an interview for her new hour-long program, which premieres on Monday.
Pelosi also said that it’s up to her colleagues in the Democratic caucus in the House to decide who will lead their party after the November elections.
“But to have no woman at the table and to have the Affordable Care Act at risk, I said ‘As long as Trump is here, I’m here,” Pelosi told Amanpour.
Pelosi also expressed her belief that if the midterm elections were held right now her party would definitely take back control of the House. She also said that “women would lead the way,” referring to this year’s record number of female House candidates in the Democratic Party.
“If the election were held today, we would win overwhelmingly and women would lead the way,” the Minority Leader said. “We have so many excellent women candidates from women across the country. Women marched and then they ran, and now they’re running and now they’re going to be members of Congress.”
Concerning her making the cover of TIME Magazine, she said the time was “long overdue.” She made history 12 years ago as the first woman Speaker, and is poised to take back her former title if Democrats win control of the House in November. Making the cover of TIME was the first time she’s ever had top billing on a national news magazine, showing the lack of respect for powerful women.
She said that when she was elected Speaker in 2006 magazines “didn’t understand the stark significance” of a woman becoming third-in-line to the presidency.
“I don’t think too much about it, but I do think that other women did,” she said about not making the cover last decade. “It’s long overdue. I thought maybe when we passed the Affordable Care Act, expanding health care to so many millions more people and the rest, that that might get their attention, but it didn’t.”
She continued, “But anyway, it’s here now and that’s nice, but I think a lot of women are thinking, ‘Why now? Why did it take so long?’ You’d have to ask them.”
Clearly Nancy Pelosi is a powerful woman but wields her power in an unassuming way that might be disarming and lead people to underestimate her. The truth is, she is a very effective leader for Democrats in Congress, and a worthy opponent of the man in the White House.
While our nation is at risk it is no time to put untested people in leadership positions who will be forced to negotiate with Donald Trump. With Nancy Pelosi Democrats have a leader who is tried and true, and she will hold her own against all the powerful Republican forces in Washington, including the President of the United States.
The prospect of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House in January, leading congressional investigations into his criminal past, is sure to cause Donald Trump to panic even more than he already is.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.