Nancy Pelosi has good political instincts

Nancy Pelosi - the opponent

Politics is a tradition in the Pelosi family. Father: Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., Congressman, legendary mayor of Baltimore and Roosevelt supporter. Brother: Tommy, Baltimore Mayor and City Councilor. Nancy: Speaker of the US House of Representatives since November 2006.

But Nancy Pelosi never tires of referring to the strongest root in this political family tree, which, unlike the other family members, has no title: her mother. "Actually, my mother was the driving force. She was very dedicated and passionate." Pelosi's political legacy - her father's tactical skills combined with her mother's sense of justice - plus her own persistent work has now put her at the forefront of American politics. As the Speaker of the House of Representatives, she is the most powerful woman in American history today.

Pelosi's father used to use the family's row house as a base from which he began his political activities. As a little girl, Nancy was allowed to finish the mail and accompany her father to events. Her mother welcomed every visitor or supplicant to dinner. "She just made some pasta, stew, and everything else." And: "She had a whole army of women that she could mobilize for a wide variety of actions at any time. She was a organization!"

Diplomacy and organizational power are also often described by Pelosi's colleagues as typical of their leadership style - and as one of the reasons why she managed to win over democrats of the various wings. During nightly meetings there is always something to eat in Nancy's offices in the Capitol. Her suite became a meeting place for exhausted MPs who craved coffee and a sandwich. Pelosi used the informal discussions to find out about special concerns and problems in the respective government districts.

In October, in the final spurt of the election campaign, Pelosi rushed back and forth between fundraising events, strategy meetings and how-to-get-the-population-to-vote meetings. At the same time she took care of her daughter Alexandra, who was about to give birth to Pelosi's sixth grandchild.

Pelosi's political instinct has become second nature to her, but she only started her career second. In her younger years, the now 66-year-old focused on being a housewife and mother of five. Nevertheless, Pelosi was always politically active. For example in the women's movement. At her home in San Francisco - her husband Paul had become a successful investor - she also regularly received members of the Democrats to discuss environmental or economic issues. She encouraged women to run for political office and supported their campaigns as enthusiastically as if it were her own campaign by fundraising and helping with organization - and earned a reputation as one of the Democrats' most successful fundraisers. In 1987, the self-confessed feminist was elected to the American House of Representatives for the first time.

Now she is the first woman to hold the third highest office in the state. She is very well aware of her historic role. "For a moment I felt as if Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton - everyone who had advocated women's suffrage and advancement in politics - were in the room with me."

If the President and Vice President were absent, the speaker would move into the Oval Office, according to the minutes. But even without this hypothetical scenario, Pelosi's power is great. The spokeswoman selects the chairpersons of special and mediation committees and decides which laws are to be voted on. In short, Pelosi and her Democratic team will set the Republican President's agenda.

Pelosi is one of the brave minority who voted against the Iraq war at the time. She knows that outrage over the war led women in particular to vote for the Democrats in the November elections. Democratic leaders agree that laws must now be made to relieve women financially. With women in the majority of underpaid jobs, increasing the minimum wage to $ 7.25 an hour would improve their income significantly. And older women would benefit from a change in Medicare's prescription drug program.

It goes without saying that Pelosi is a staunch defender of the right to sexual self-determination, including abortion. However, she has never been of the opinion that the interests of women are limited to the so-called "women's issues", but that they should deal with national security, economic issues and environmental protection. On the other hand, the issues that are usually associated with women - such as good childcare - are for Pelosi "actually issues that concern men too. Presumably they are only called women's issues because nothing would change without the commitment of women in these areas ".

Updated version from 4.1.2018.