Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Nancy Pelosi – Person of the Year 2009 – TIME


Nancy Pelosi


Nancy Pelosi and her army of whips had counted the votes and counted them again. But as they conferred in Pelosi's warren of offices just off the Capitol Rotunda in June, it seemed there was no way to get them to add up to 218. That's a majority in the House, the number it would take to pass the climate-change legislation the Speaker calls "my flagship issue." But in the middle of a recession, the measure that Republicans were calling a job killer seemed too much to ask of her stressed-out caucus, especially after Democrats had already put their necks on the line to bail out Wall Street and the auto industry and to pass a $787 billion economic-stimulus package, and when they were looking ahead to a massive overhaul of the health care system. Further, it would probably be futile. The Senate might not follow, and even the White House was sending mixed signals as to whether it wanted to do this on top of everything else it had going on in Barack Obama's first year in office.

But Pelosi was undaunted. "Everybody out of the office," the Speaker told her lieutenants. "Just give me the whip list" — the confidential tally of where every member stood…Congressman George Miller noticed her moving methodically across the chamber from member to member. "Like Jaws," Miller recalls, humming the movie's ominous bum-bum-bum-bum theme music "She's getting the votes to pass the energy bill,"…

…It can be foolish — maybe even dangerous — to underestimate Nancy Pelosi. A former stay-at-home mom of five who didn't run for public office until she was almost 47, Pelosi holds the highest post ever attained by any woman in U.S. history, and stands second in line of succession to the presidency. She has consolidated more power than any other Speaker in modern history, scholars of the office believe. In the first year of the Obama presidency, she has used that power — and an 81-seat Democratic majority, the largest either party has enjoyed in the House in 14 years — to pass every item on his agenda: health care, energy, regulatory reform, education, pay equity. While most of the outside world's attention has centered on the intrigue and machinations of the Senate, where bills get snarled in procedure and the 60-vote hurdle to overcome filibusters, "the amount of things the House has done this year has been mind-boggling," says White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer… Read complete article & view more photos - By KAREN TUMULTYTIME

Related links:

Person of the Year 2009 – Ben Bernanke - TIME

Person of the Year 2009 – Runners-up - TIME

Photo - Speaker Nancy Pelosi


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