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Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi smiles during her weekly news conference, June 5, 2008, on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Nancy Pelosi smiles during her weekly news conference, June 5, 2008, on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is the first woman in American history to lead the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill.

She’s a San Francisco Democrat who has called President Bush a “total failure” and wants American women to “know their power,” as her new book says.

She’s been tough with the gavel, relentless on blasting the Iraq war, and challenged by the rising strength of “blue dog” conservative Democrats.

But her biggest challenge may lie ahead, if the Democrats win it all — Congress and the White House.

This hour, On Point: a conversation with Madame Speaker, Nancy Pelosi.

How do you rate Pelosi’s performance so far at the helm of the House? Do you welcome — or fear — possible Democratic control of Congress and the White House after this fall’s election? Join the conversation right here on this page and post a comment below.

Guests:

Nancy Pelosi, Democrat from California, is Speaker of the House of Representative. She was first elected to the House in 1987, representing the congressional district that includes San Francisco. She’s the author a new book, “Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters.” (You can read an excerpt at RandomHouse.com).

Gail Chaddock, senior congressional correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor.

Paul Kane, congressional correspondent for The Washington Post.

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  • http://OnPoint Vivian Pera

    Hello Tom,
    Listening to your conversation with Nancy Pelosi yesterday I was appalled by her attitude and dishonesty. As a woman of her generation I was thrilled and proud when she became the Speaker of the House. To my dismay, I am disappointed by her leadership for reasons clearly stated by a few of your callers. However, her performance during the democratic primaries when she clearly demonstrated her preference for Obama (without mentioning his name) and her desire for Hillary Clinton to end her campaign prematurely was surprising to me. That, a person who could be in the situation of leading our country in place of the president and vice-president, can demonstrate such disregard for our democratic process and so much disrespect for the people of this country is completely inadmissible to me. She disrespected one of your callers, Tony, who I agreed 100%, and the rest of your audience.
    Thank you,

    Vivian Pera

  • http://www.press-citizen.com Maria Houser Conzemius

    Tom,

    As I said in my email to you last night, you should have challenged Nancy Pelosi when she emphatically, rudely, and impatiently denied that there was any truth to Toni’s criticism that Pelosi had “over-reached” her position in trying to short-circuit the democratic process of selecting a nominee.

    Toni’s criticisms are well justified, and I completely agree with her. Pelosi’s haughty contempt for Toni’s opinion was ill advised, considering that 17-18,000,000 people voted for Hillary Clinton, including me and my husband (at the Iowa caucus 1/3/08) and most of the constituents of Pelosi’s own state, if not her own district.

    There’s no way I’m buying Nancy Pelosi’s book, as she is definitely not in a position to advise anyone’s daughter, including her own. She’s a Queen Bee par excellence. I personally loathe such women. Like Clarence Thomas, she is all too anxious to pull up the ladder behind her.

    Thank you for your attention,
    Maria Houser Conzemius

  • Maria Klein

    What an interesting interview. Rarely do we get to hear a politician of such high stature as Nanci Pelosi’s lose their composure while answering a question.

    I only wish you had pressured her more on FISA and on her lack of opposition to waterboarding when she was first briefed on it.

  • http://www.radiodujour.com Edward Rynearson

    Nancy Pelosi strikes me as a decent person but she is just not up to the task of ending the disastrous war in Iraq or protecting our constitution from the executive branch.

    I wish her well but she is one of many representatives I hope will soon be retired by the American people (if the votes are counted, we might really get some new leadership).

  • jeff

    With all due respect to Madam speaker Pelosi I have to say her tenure has been a huge disappointment.
    The Democrats act like a whipping post more than an opposition party.

    Carl Rove is now officially being held in contempt of Congress. Will the Madam speaker respectfully have him arrested? I think not.

    The impeachment of Vice President Cheney is highly in order.
    While I am at it lets add David S. Addington, Alberto R. Gonzales, and Rumsfeld to the list of criminals.

    I have to also suggest to the Democrats to look back to the Nixon era to get their mojo back in how an opposition party is supposed to conduct themselves.

    It seems to me the only people who have a spine are congressmen such Dennis Kucinich.

  • Linda

    Pelosi was not disrespectful at all to Tony; she said a couple of times that she wanted to respect his opinion but that she disagreed with him and she explained why. This is a news and opinion program; he expressed his and she expressed hers.

  • gerald

    Bush knows what’s in Pelosi’s closet. that’s enough to keep her in line.

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