Nancy Pelosi's Moment in the Sun

High praise for the beleaguered, victorious Speaker

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President Obama took his victory lap on his role in passing health care reform. Now it's Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's turn. Pelosi already made history when she became the first female Speaker in history. Since then, she has become a bit of a hobgoblin of the right. (Republicans raised money today with a photo of Pelosi superimposed over hellish flames and the banner "Fire Pelosi). But today she is a hero of Democrats. Here's the big heaping praise, starting with Diane Sawyer's warm interview with Pelosi:

  • Most Powerful Woman in U.S. History So declares the Economist's Lexington columnist. "Mrs Pelosi is arguably the most powerful woman in American history. There have been female governors, secretaries of state and Supreme Court justices, but only one female speaker." He wrote just before Pelosi helped pass health care, "if Mrs Pelosi succeeds, she will take her place in the Democratic pantheon."
  • Health Care's Leading Figure? A reader emailing The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan paints Pelosi as the lead proponent of large-scale health care reform legislation. "After the Massachusetts special election, when the Senate was ready to wash its hands of the whole thing, and Emanuel and who knows who else in the administration were arguing for scaling back or even dropping the effort, Pelosi dug in her heels, insisted on the whole enchilada, and showed the way."
  • Proves Women Can Lead Congress The Swamp's Mark Silva quips, "Finally, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said late last night in her closing argument for passage of the healthcare bill, being a woman will no longer be considered a preexisting medical condition."
  • Pelosi's Moment The Atlantic's Joshua Green, a former Pelosi skeptic, gives credit where it's due. "Pelosi didn't strike me as an effective opposition leader, and I wouldn't have imagined that she'd be an effective Speaker. But she's adapted handily to the way Congress operates today. It isn't always pretty and it doesn't resemble the bipartisan days of yore. But after last night's vote, it's much harder to argue that it can't be effective. And it's impossible to argue that Pelosi herself can't be either."
  • Paired Perfectly With Obama The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn explains how they tag-teamed Congress and the American public. "The combination of President Obama as the chief public explainer and Pelosi running the show behind the scenes is an extremely formidable combination."
  • The Pelosi House Office Building Liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias quips of the surface parking lot near the Capitol building in Washington, DC, "For the past 48 hours or so I've decided to think of it as the future location of the Pelosi House Office Building to go alongside Canon, Rayburn, and Longworth."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.