Profile of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi CSPAN February 19, 2019 11:06pm-12:30am EST
published by public affairs. c-span's the presidents will be on shelves april 23 but you can preorder your copy as a hard cover of e-book today. c-span.org/thepresidents. >> members of congress, i have the distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the united states. [applause] >> thank you very much.
tonight i have the high privilege as the fist president to begin the state of the union with these words, madam speaker. [applause] >> that is the january 2007 state of the union with president george w. bush and his historic introduction of nancy pelosi as the first female speaker of the house, third in line from the presidency. now that nancy pelosi has regained that position, it will be an interesting couple of years as she hopes to increase her majority and play counterpart to president trump, we will learn more about her rise to power and how she approaches leadership. we have two guests to help us do that. susan is the chief congressional correspondent for the washington examiner.
friends of c-span, thank you for coming back today. start by telling our viewers how long you covered and in what capacity. >> since before she joined the leadership. 20 years. i have known her since she was a rank and file member. i watched her work her way into leadership, which was no easy task for any member, nevermind a woman. it was really fascinating to watch how she built a coalition and managed to fight off stiff competition. that, to me was the most interesting part of this. the nuts and bolts about how somebody gets into a leadership. sometimes it is by accident. we have seen that a couple of times in history. but oftentimes, it requires, especially with the democratic party, you need to be a
relatively good politician and you need to fight. you need to have a lot of ambition. that is what i focused on in my coverage of her. >> how long have you had your eye on nancy pelosi? >> it is embarrassing, but i will admit the truth. she was the party chair woman in california. in 1980, she helped bring the convention to california in 1984. actually, if i think about my roots with nancy pelosi, they o back to before i was born. my parents worked on the campaign in san francisco. it was great. first, chief of the delegation and nancy pelosi was elevated by the burton machine. actually designated nancy. we have been watching her since
the late 70's. >> our focus will be her time in washington, d.c.. what we wanted to do is look at the c-span archives. it was a monumental task. there are 2600 nancy pelosi videos. we will not show them all to our viewers today, but we really wanted to pick from choice videos along her rise to power. before we do that, we need to talk about her roots. they are really not california. they are in baltimore. can you talk about that? >> her roots were all politics from the get go. her father was mayor of baltimore in the 1940's and she grew up watching him operate as a politician and watching how he worked to maintain his own coalition. maintain his own support. she learned from him and she also learned about the importance of public service and that inspired her to eventually get into public service.
she was in baltimore into the late 60's when she and her husband moved to the west coast to raise their family in san francisco. she really is a baltimore native. >> i wanted to ask about how important these things are to her. her mother was first-generation italian immigrant, her father, second generation. they lived in little italy. how important are her italian roots to her? >> immensely important. he thing to understand is that she is the heiress of two political dine citis, not one. i do not remember anything like this. the day that nancy was born, he was on the floor of the house. he was a new deal democrat and he was rounding up votes for
fdr and that was her dad who later served in the house. she became the darling. there were two factions. she got along with both actions. the mccarthy faction and the burton faction. she got along with both factions. she is a unifying force. the liberals, the progressive s, the establishment. when she first ran for office, the first time she ran, she was a wealthy woman from pacific heights who was comfortable in social set wrgs it was impolite to mention philip burton's name. she was a person that they could rally around. >> she is also the product of catholic education and her primary and secondary school and unity college. how important is her religion to her?
>> she grew up in italian catholic and it is an important part of who she is today. she is a faithful catholic and she describes it as an important part of her leadership, her life as a mother, politician, and she brings it up whenever anybody asks her about what is one of the most important things in your life. she said growing up in an italian catholic household. >> you mentioned her mother. she was a very good student and went to notre dame in baltimore, a girls school. a high level academic girls school. she was the only daughter. very close to albemarle street. nancy's mother made sure that she went to notre dame. then she came here to trinity. she was enthusiastic, like most catholics. stwhonet the kennedy inauguration.
-- she went to the kennedy inauguration. it think about this. she really is a catholic. sometimes democrats would be fighting with her. she would say to them, she would quote the bible saying, love each other the way i have loved you. she is a real catholic. >> she keeps a picture of herself as a young woman and president kennedy in her office still, when you walk in, there is a picture of the two of them. >> it reminds me of a young bill clinton. >> she could pull rank on clinton if she wanted. she met kennedy first. she actually went to an event in washington. there is a picture of that, here he was being honored. her -- for "profiles in courage." dad took her. look at these pictures now.
it is fascinating because the mother was there. the father was a political guy. here is this woman off to the side. you would like to go back in time and say look at her, she is going to be speaker someday, how strange that would have seen. >> one of the things she learned from her father, just her personal outreach individuals. to stay in touch. to stay in close contact with people, to reach out and make connections. it has served her very well in leadership in congress. she learned that from her father and she watched growing up. she helped him out with those tasks while he was mayor of baltimore and rising through his own political career. she married young, a many decades old marriage. they had five children together. who is paul pelosi? >> paul pelosi was from the marina district of my hometown. she was going to trinity, but she took a summer class there. you see the pictures. beautiful people, both of them. she fell for him.
i don't know if she went on another date. they got married and paul went up to new york. moved out to san francisco, made even more money and he is very successful. his brother was an active democrat on the board of upervisors in san francisco. ron pelosi. when people talk about pelosi should run for office, nancy thought they meant him. she is the pelosi that we know. not really a political junkie, which makes him a little bit of a black sheep in that family. >> i wanted to get to our first clip after she gets to congress. you alluded to this, that at a special election -- she was raising five children. how did she build her political experience in california to get to the point where she was even considered for this. >> people who do not know, the
britton brothers, they were both in congress. phil bragged about it. he said the only way to get to it is at low tide. t was around the bay area. phil gave his best precinct to john. john left congress. he was sick and got treatment. burton went to her and said would you like this? the kids were little. she said no. five years later, phil was gone. e died suddenly. she got cancer herself. she said i want nancy. people didn't think of her like that in san francisco. when an intermediary went to burton to get his blessing, he said sure. i will help out. the intermediary said you need nancy pelosi. he said i thought you meant nancy walker. she was on the board of
supervisors. he groaned. nancy went to see him herself. she said, if you think i will embarrass you or your brother, i will not run. he was so impressed with that. he said, what do i care? screw it. and he got behind her. they went to hospital. sal was dying. he was saying nancy, if you this, you this, you still have kid in school. it is 2,500 miles away. you have to work at it. nancy did not do much talking. she said i expect you to get better and serve out your term. nancy said we're praying for you. if you want me to succeed you, i would be honored and i will do my best. it was a 14 person race. it was not a slamdunk. the burton machine saw some cracks in the armor.
she raised a million dollars. as much as the other 13 combined. she got the endorsement of both towns newspapers and she still only won 36-32. she was not inevitable. she has never lost an election. > are those politics still prevalent in american society today? >> i guess. fundraising is key and important. for someone like pelosi, where she can easily win with 80%, she will not really be challenged. i think it still exists. money and politics, the important part of her raising $1 million and outraising everybody, that is just part of who she is today. one of the strongest fundraisers in history for republicans or democrats. it is one of the reasons she has been so successful, and the fact
that she was able to beat out 14 other people. i know that wasn't easy. especially for her. people saw her as somebody who could not relate to them. she is not from the working class and she never ran a business. they saw her as a wealthy woman who had no connection to the voters. she still managed to pull it off. she still managed to win. the archives began in 1987. even though this network had been around since 1979. we will show you her first appearance. we will show this to you. 47 years of age and a member of the house of representatives. let's watch it. >> thank you, mr. chairman. forgive me. i have two hearings at one time. i have to go back and forth. the clarification i have been asking has been brought over. we are all aware. of the surgeon general's goal of prenatal care in the first
trimester. the practical matter, we are well into the first trimester before they even know they are in the first trimester. it begs the question of how -- the most important kind of care, a healthy start. if we had a system of healthcare in our country, we would all be -- >> we were less interested in the topic, although it is a women's health topic. to see very early nancy pelosi. you look surprised. >> i haven't seen that. it is fascinating. she is so young and trying to ind her way. but again, focused on the issues. that has defined her as a awmaker. hrough the years as a leader. just really focused on the issues, really unusual to catch her unprepared on any topic. she really hones in when things are important to her.
legislation that is important to her. she can speak in a really articulate manner about them. gain, she is focusing on women's health care is something she still talks about today. it is an enormous priority for her and the democratic caucus. that was a really interesting clip. >> what did you see that young lawmaker versus what we see today? >> she is not uncertain but she is not as steely. she is hemming and hawing a little bit. she is 47. y the time she is a freshman legislator, she just won her first election and she was a freshman. in some ways, she seems like she is in her 30's there. what susan was saying. she is talking about an issue.
she is making a point. she is at her best and she marshals her arguments. she always did her homework and she knows the issues. she is making a point there. first trimester. if you don't know you're pregnant in the first trimester, how do you know to get prenatal care. she is pushing an issue there. >> one thing i know is important to her and you can see it that then is to advocate for women. you are not just saying i am a speaker for women. she fought her way up there as a member of the house, but she is always there to think about and advocate for women who are nderrepresented in congress. their issues are not front and center. he seen example of that that a lot of men do not think about. what goes on in the first trimester of a pregnancy.
that was a good example of that. >> our next clip of a floor appearance in may of 1988. let's watch her in an early appearance as a freshman congressperson on the floor of the house. >> but not much progress has been made on the other side of the aisle in terms of peace in central america. this amendment is the same old thing. i see no growth, no responding to changing circumstances in central america, no response to the wishes of the people of central america, no response to the people of the u.s. a few years ago, i visited central america and that is one of the reasons i worked hard to come to congress to do whatever i could, in my power to stop the suffering there. i yield to my colleague. i want to complement my colleague from san francisco on her excellent remark and i associate myself
with those remarks. i'm proud to serve with her and represent that city. i would like to say that you are right. it is the same old thing. we have seen those planes go down with weapons and come back with drugs. we do not want that same old thing. we do not want to see the same people who brought us general noriega. i do not know where people have been. we are going to take the same old people and put them in charge of our nicaragua policy? vote no on that policy. vote no on the hyde amendment. >> representative nancy pelosi on the floor with then house member barbara who would spend many years in the senate. she was dealing with international issues. she spent a lot of her political energy on another cause, which was china and the students at tiananmen square. she had no background really in international relations. where did this interest come from?
>> she represents san francisco. nancy pelosi -- i do not care whether democrat or republican, she has been on his issue her entire career. she has bucked democratic presidents as well as republican presidents, particularly bill clinton. she is always caring about the issues. she came by it naturally. she was doing constituent work, caring about human rights in china. that clip you showed really is going back, that is a harbinger of the future because ansi pelosi is talking about central america. she is staking out a piece position that would become the democrat position. but wasn't yet. barbara boxer is the person who took john burton's seat. she said i would like it and she ran. she went on to the senate. the foreshadowing there, when george w. bush invaded iraq, nancy pelosi was the highest democrat in the country to oppose it. she did it from the start.
>> that is true. you see that carry through today. she was a strong o opponent of the war. that helped the democrats win he majority. they lead with this argument that the war should end. she was right behind that. that played a big role in the house majority falling to the democrats that year. this is another 1988 clip. there will be echoes in it. this is the group called women in government relations. let's listen and then come back to the table. >> when i was running for office, the comment even in progressive san francisco was who was going to be taking care of your children? i see this through many young women, women of the age that should be coming to congress so that you and your men can come to congress. most to come to congress are in their 30's. my experience is that the women in congress, including myself, are starting out more in the
40's and beyond. it is difficult to build a seniority when we could come in our 30's if there was more acceptance of women and their families being accepted in congress and leaving their hometowns to come. in any case, this is important to californians. >> women not being able to get into seniority. >> she talked about this a lot her first term as weaker. that's when she was fully exposed to the nation as the first female house speaker. she talks a lot about how she got there. one of the things she said is, i got a late start. i said, do you mind if i run for congress? my daughter said to me, mom, get a life. that is her description of leaving home after raising five children. she said for some women, this should come sooner. there should be a way to balance that.
being a mother and being a member of congress, so that they have a chance to rise through the ranks. there she is again making the same argument as a younger woman. >> how important is seniority in the house of representatives? >> doesn't matter like it used to. nancy pelosi not only is nearly 80 now and she looks very healthy, obviously, smart as she ever was. if you are nancy pelosi, you can get a late start but the point she is making is valid. when she came here, there were 23 women in the house. now there are 24% of women in the house. she used to talk about this and she would do candidate recruitment for the party. she would recruit women. not exclusively women, but she made sure that there were women in the pipeline. >> when we look at the house freshmen class now with all of those women in it, what is the
susan:, you have the youngest woman right now, alexandria ocasio-cortez, 29, i think. now we have awful lot in their 20's, 30's, 40's. various ages. they are very ambitious. the'ry're in large numbers. they are ready to make an impact. they are not coming in and saying i will sit in the back of the room. this is a bold class of women. the way it was led by nancy pelosi, i think when she became speaker, it has changed the whole dynamic. here we are years later, you got this freshman class of very ambitious women with ideas and plans. i know this week, there was an introduction of this green deal by the freshman lawmaker. she's willing to come out with
their own plan to fight climate change and all of these other issues. i think they are a very embolden class of women and i think pelosi welcomes that. host: one thing that has happened to the congress in those years, fewer people live in washington. overall, has congress become more family-friendly in the decades? carl: i don't think so. what has happened is if you live are -- you would come and buy house in virginia or maryland. rick santorum ran against somebody who did that and he himself did it. somebody ran against him for doing it. this idea you want to get on a plane every weekend -- tommy della sandra would take the train from union station to baltimore. that is easy, you can do that. but if you are flying to
california like leon panetta and nancy pelosi did for years -- i don't know if it is good for your family life, but it is not good for the congress family. these guys getting along, going to dinner. host: that is one of the reasons i hear from lawmakers, they limit the end of those days -- lament the in of those days because they are no longer times other than fighting on the floor of the house. susan: maybe we play touch football somewhere. maybe we see a movie or spent time together at parties. all of that has gone by the wayside because people buzz out of the door at the end of the week and go home. the only time they see each other is when they are in these oppositional positions on legislation. host: we are going to fast-forward because our time will be less pretty quickly. too 1994. the clinton administration with the famous press dinners in
washington. this particular one is the washington press club salute to congress. nancy pelosi was selected as one of the speakers. how important are these in making or breaking people's image in washington, these dinners? carl: they can be. somebody ken lay and egg and people want take them seriously. terribly unfair and probably not as much as it used to be. if you are the features speaker, you want to do good. your colleagues are watching your. susan: you want your jokes to land. you want to sound informed. you don't want to make any big blunders.
, you are considered bill clinton's running mate, but after the interview, he just missed you as too wooden? [laughter] >> an answer to your specific question, was i eliminated because i was considered too wooden after the interview? i'm afraid the answer is yes, but i have no idea why. let me tell you about the interview and you tell me if you think i'm wooden. i went to the interview and right off the bat, then governor clinton said, are you able to take the pressure and criticism of the job? i said, governor, i have a thick veneer, i can take a good shellacking and come out without a scratch. i don't have a chip on my shoulder and i am not a sap. i have good roots and nobody can do a hatchet job on me. for politics, i don't belong
to any splinter groups. i have never belonged to the john burks society. in fact, i was a cochair of the platform committee and i supported every plank. then, the governor threw wedges into the conversation. wentid, what did you think you got the invitation to this interview? i leveled with him. i said, governor, i was petrified. [laughter] but i was pining for the job and i told him i could stop any logjam in the senate, in the congress, just by the timbre of my voice. with that, the governor stood up, lumbered across the room, and split. [laughter] [applause]
you know what happened next. a mere few hours later, al gore was named the vice presidential candidate. host: al gore was always described as a wooden personality as well. a bit tortured on the puns about wood. do you know if she actually had an interview with bill clinton? carl: he talked to her, but he may have been going through the motions. al gore was the obvious pick. in those days, it was universally hailed as a smart move. host: at this point, where was she in her congressional career? susan: she was a rank-and-file member. and at that point in your career, what you are doing is working your way up on committees, building relationships with people.
it's a good question what year she decided she wanted to get into leadership, because in the early 1990's, that's still pretty far away from the opening for her to ascend into democratic party leadership as the whip. so at that time, you are working on committee assignments, working on getting legislation introduced, and you are working on building relationships with the leadership so that you may have an opportunity to get into leadership. back then committee assignments were really important. people had their eye on chairmanships, and for women at that time, they really didn't have any, they really weren't anywhere near the leadership. it will be interesting to know what was going through her head at that time. carl: california was in the process of electing two female senators, barbara boxer and dianne feinstein. pelosi's name was mentioned in that. she decided she liked the house and she wanted to really learn the house, she liked it there
and wanted to thrive. a lot of people don't. john burton didn't, but she did. she decided she liked the house it was not until 1998 that she would make her move against steny hoyer, but this was probably 1993, so it was five years away before she actually made a move. host: do you know from either reporting on her or biographies you have read on her, was it a methodical process for her to move up? carl: she was paying attention to, can you say, sticking to her knitting? she was doing the committee work and raising a lot of money for the party still in california, but she clearly had her eye on this. but boehner was the whip, tip was the speaker, you had to wait for some things to happen. susan: and then the republicans took over and they got cast into the minority. and i think that gave her more
of a chance at that point. it's easier to move up. leadership becomes a little more flexible when you are not in the majority, in terms of getting in. nobody is fighting for the position hard, let's put it that way. carl: but she worked hard behind the scenes. she had run for dnc party chair and lost to paul kirk after the mondale debacle. that would have been 1985 and she lost that. she never lost anything again. she thought she got a late start so she would tell people in california, if i make a move like that, i'm going to have done all the work. and she called steny hoyer, because people thought he was going to be the whip, and they knew each other in maryland politics. they were friends. susan: they were both interns for a house member representing maryland. there were both interns together. carl: and they had known each other. and hoyer was surprised, no, he was hurt and disappointed, those
were his words, when she made the move against him. but he wasn't blindsided because she called him. this was in 1998. the election wasn't for two or three years and she said i'm going after the whip. so she took three years to run and when gephardt leaves, she wrapped up the leadership role in 36 hours, the second time. susan: she was already whip at that point. the first race was a hard one. she had to pick people off one vote at a time and it was a close race. a lot of people were aligned with hoyer, as she had to work at one vote at a time. that's why the race was so fascinating. no one was sure who was going to win and i don't think steny hoyer thought he was going to lose. carl: pelosi said she had 120 votes and steny thought he had 115. susan: they declared their whip counts and they are always different in the end. carl: she had 118. that's how close she was. susan: and through friendships
and relationships and gentle arm-twisting, she managed to succeed hoyer and stayed ahead of them ever since and that was 18 years ago. host: we have one more clip of the rank-and-file member and then something from her first leadership position. this is once again 1994. it's interesting to us for two reasons. let's watch. >> because newt gingrich in the republican leadership has spent a week demonizing a bill that should have overwhelming support in the congress, just as it has overwhelming support among the american people. congresswoman nancy pelosi. >> thank you very much, representative schumer. i really appreciate the opportunity to be here with you and our colleagues in support of your legislation. i want to commend you for your leadership and advocacy on behalf of making our streets safer, and life less menacing to all americans.
congress has the power in the next day or so to reduce violence in our society. they can do this by being tough on criminals. we can do this by putting 100,000 policemen on the street. we can do this by putting prevention measures into play representative schumer just talked about. we can do this by putting and we can do this by having a ban on assault weapons. host: that is nancy pelosi back in 1994 on the assault weapons legislation, with then-congressman chuck schumer, one of the reasons this is of interest to us because he is her partner now in the senate side as leader of the democrats. can you talk about their relationship and how it has built from those days in the house together? susan: they have both been in congress a long time, and they have to work together now
because the two of them at this point are, the only thing standing between the republicans and president trump in getting legislation passed. pelosi runs the house and controls the floor schedule. but schumer has the unique role in the senate of the 60-vote threshold. so he has control even though the senate majority is republican. the two of them worked together and most recently you saw how strong their alliance was, because they remained unified in the face of demands for money for a southern border wall. they refused to relent and they did not take a bill with border wall money and it. schumer, it was an uncomfortable position for him because the senate was try to push that legislation he said, nancy pelosi, i am sticking with her, and i think they came out on top in that fight, and they do have a close relationship. she talks to him several times a day and they get along pretty well. host: the other reason it was of interest was because of dealing with gun policy, something she
continues to be at the forefront of today. carl: they passed that bill as part of the crime bill, and it was important to san francisco. there was one of these horrific mass murders, and feinstein was really pushing it in the senate. it was her thing. that's who she was working with on that bill at that time more closely, senator feinstein, and they got their bill through. the other thing is that you look at gun control, it seems like we are having the same debate decade after decade, but not that crime bill. a lot of republicans had to apologize for it. host: now they are reforming sentencing laws and almost reversing some of those things. carl: also in that bill was a three strikes and you are out thing, which became anathema not just to liberals but conservatives. donald trump signed a law eating
away at that, a law bill clinton signed. host: you talked about her path to her first leadership job as the whip. what is the whip? susan: they are in charge of making sure the votes go the way the party wants. so they have a whip team and they make sure, there is a big vote coming up, they check with every member to make sure they are on board and they can pass it, or stop opposing legislation that they don't want. that is the main job of the whip. it is the number-two leadership position when you are in the minority. it is number three when you are in the majority. so nancy pelosi's organizing strength and attention to detail. that's why she had an easier time ascending to minority leader when that job open, when representative gephardt left congress.
that's because she had been serving as whip successfully, and in the minority i might add, which is an easier job to be in the minority. and she built on the relationships she already had with people as that minority whip. and she was good at it and that is one of the reasons people elected her minority leader. carl: the term whip implies forcing people are cracking the whip, but the days of bullying people are over. you can't force them to do anything they don't want to do. susan: no, but you can be forceful and she is known for being forceful in a way for people, it makes it hard for people to say no to her. a gentle stick and carrot is how people describe how she twists an arm without physically twisting an arm. so there are different ways to wrangle a vote and she is known as somebody who is pretty good at it. carl: right, i wasn't saying she wasn't tough but i was saying the other side of it. while she was the whip, susan
mentioned she ascended quickly into the next role. one of the things she did for these people, she raised money for them. that is the carrot part of it. these people are voters so when she goes to them and says, this is really important to leadership and the person says, that is a tough vote in my district, she doesn't have to be gross about it, but they are going to remember, nancy did come to a fundraiser for me and we raised $150,000, half the money are raised. so she was very effective as whip, not just for the traditional reasons but also because she is a powerhouse raising money. host: here is what she had to say a few days after assuming the role. she is introduced here and she is a mother of five, and we so often hear about alexandra pelosi, who is a filmmaker. she is more visible nationally but this is another of her children, christine, who introduces her mother in this clip from january 2002. >> what has been incredibly exciting for my siblings and me
over the past couple of months is to see the response among women, and amongst our friends who have nothing to do with politics at say, that is so cool congress was ready to elect a woman, and it is even cooler that it is your mom. [laughter] so i want to introduce someone who has always been a role model to me, an incredible role model for so many women. my siblings and i always appreciate the opportunity to spend time with her and share with all of you because we know how much she cares about the issues and cares about being a voice for the country, so please welcome the new whip, the highest-ranking woman ever in congress, my mom, nancy pelosi. [applause] rep. pelosi: let's talk in the sisterhood for a few minutes.
i have received this incredible honor. let's talk personally. a few days ago, and i haven't even told my dear christine this, and christine, thank you for your beautiful, lovely, warm remarks, sweetheart. a few days ago i was in san francisco, got off the plane as i have done and guess what was waiting for me -- security and transportation. [laughter] stepping up in the world. this is a very new thing for women in congress. so then i was driven to my office. i have done and guess what was well, first of all i was driven to my apartment, where the security stayed all night. i said, go home, go home. no, they took me to my office
the next day for the first time ever a woman driven to her office in the capital of the united states, not in the office buildings, but in the capital. i'm not talking about a little hideaway, i'm talking about an office of power in the capital of the united states. what a thrill. and to talk about the perks of power, this is important because everything we say and do now and from our office is weighed in a different way. host: that last comment, particularly poignant. what do you think? susan: i interviewed her right after that. i remember sitting in her office. she had chocolates on the table and flowers everywhere and i thought, here is a woman in the whip's office, and she was just full of confidence. just like that, full of enthusiasm, very excited to be there, talking about the issues and honestly, she was happy to
elevate women. i know that sounds corny but she never forgot how important that was and she never left behind the sisterhood to say, i am a leader. she just was, really leaned on the fact that this is about women having more power, in addition to making sure she is fighting for the issues she finds really important. so there are these two tracks for i have always observed, and neither seems to overtake the other. the issues are really important to her, she is steeped in the issues and what she wants to pass or move through congress, and the other side of it is, what does this mean for women? and i think that is really interesting, especially this year when we have got so many women in congress, some of whom were going to oppose her and not vote for her for speaker.
so this is part of what she has created. host: i was interested in her last sentence which was, it's important because everything we say now is going to be judged differently. carl: and that is again foreshadowing. she is not done rising and she is hinting at that. the other thing though, looking at this today in 2019, that security thing i hear a little different which is, the whip gets security. i don't even know when i became aware of that but i know two years ago that steve scalise was at the congressional baseball game and he had security, and if he didn't that would've been a horrible bloodbath. so when i hear security part of me just thanks, thank odd. host: next is her next rise, which is the post of minority leader after democrats lose the house and 20 -- lose the house in 2002. when you are the minority, the house was starting to go back and forth a bit.
let's listen to nancy pelosi after the november elections when she wins the post as democratic leader, which she will be leading the minority in that congress. rep. pelosi: good morning. [applause] good morning. my colleagues just bestowed upon me the great honor to be the leader of the democrats in the house of representatives. they did so in an across-the-board, overwhelming vote of support and i am very, very honored. i'm not finished yet. [laughter] i have been waiting over 200 years. [applause] i didn't run as a woman, i ran
as a seasoned politician and experienced legislator. it just so happens that i am a woman and we have been waiting a long time for this moment. last year on september 11, our country experienced a terrible, terrible trauma. since then democrats have stood shoulder to shoulder with president bush in the fight against terrorism and we will continue to do so. again, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the president in support of our young men and women in uniform, and in the fight against terrorism. where we can find common ground on the economy and other domestic issues, we shall seek it. we have that responsibility to the american people. where we cannot find that common ground, we must stand our ground. the american people need us to do that. i also hope we can raise the level of civility in the
political debates in congress. again, the american people expect and deserve an honest exchange of the issues, and honest debate of where to take this country in the future. host: you told us you were in that crowd of reporters. you remember that day? susan: yes, a couple of things stand out. first of all, stand our ground where we have differences, she is saying that now. it's a line of hurt or use over the past month or so. the part where she said, i ran as a member, not a woman, that is what has defined her for me as a leader, and as i was just saying prior to this, it was important for her to elevate women. that is not how she ascended. she did not run saying, you need to vote for me because i am a woman. she won because she is very
ambitious, very politically astute, she raised tons of money and she is a good competitor. that is what got her into leadership. when i interview people in the hallways saying, who are you going to vote for? that's everyone trying to figure out the whip count, not just the leaders but the reporters, we are walking around going, who are you going to vote for? we are trying to figure out who is going to win. and people described her as, the reason she deserved to be minority leader is that she was able, she was very confident, she was a very good whip and they saw her as the best leader for the party. it wasn't like, because this is an historic moment we need a woman in charge, nobody said that. they just said, nobody's going to do a better job than her. host: how did she approach being leader of the opposition in the house? carl: she didn't really live up to that promise to elevate civility. and the reason is that she became bitter over the iraq war. she counseled george w. bush privately and publicly not to do it, as ted kennedy did. and when the iraq war started
she began saying things not really like her. very personal attacks against the president. he is over his head, lacks judgment, doesn't know what he is doing, anybody would be better than this guy. and she wasn't really able to express herself the way she laid out there. but she said we will support him whenever we can. she thought the invasion of iraq was a bad response to 9/11 and she wasn't always able to keep it right on the issues. she doesn't usually do this, but she wasn't always able to keep it right on the issues. she doesn't usually do this, but some of her language about the president was intemperate and even ad hominem, and it created a bitterness between her and the republicans that didn't exist before. tom delay said she was so motivated by personal hatred for as president, she is risking the lives of our troops, which itself is over the top. what she didn't like actually
escalated in the next couple of years. susan: i would agree. things got really tense. democrats were in the minority and they did begin to fight more bitterly, in my view. people talk about, the partisanship has gotten so much more serious, it has ratcheted up over the years. and i would say it did begin, and i'm not putting the blame on any particular person, but it did really escalate in those years, the war years, when things got personal, there were more personal attacks than i had ever heard, and not just against the president, but just between the leaders, between the minority and majority leaders it seemed like things got more personal. and don't forget, a lot of this had to do with the fact that election cycles tend to get closer and closer together, people start campaigning sooner for everything. that escalated the partnership.
the war was a big part of that because democrats used their opposition to the war to defeat the republicans and get the majority. her eye was on the speaker's chair. even in that clip where she was standing at the podium talking about her position, it was about where they were going to go from there and how they were going to get there. host: her path was successful because our next clip is when she was elected speaker of the house after democrats reclaimed the majority in 2006. here is her january 4 transfer of power from speaker john boehner to nancy pelosi. >> it is my privilege to present the gavel to the first woman speaker in our history, the california, nancy pelosi. >> [applause]
host: making history, john boehner with tears in his eyes, not sure if it's because he is giving up power or because the moment was historic and emotional. so nancy pelosi has the speaker's gavel in her hand. how did she organize her majority and how did she use it? susan: the entire chamber was really excited. i haven't seen it before or since, where everybody was really excited to watch her win the election as speaker. you could see even the republicans. this is normally a very solemn day, they had just lost the majority, they are sitting there with their sourpuss faces. but no, no one could help but be excited to see this moment. it was history. it was very exciting to watch
and be in the room and feel it. we end the press were actually above the room, overlooking the room, and it was an exciting moment. she was able to do a very easy transition from the minority to the majority. she was really ready. you didn't see a hesitant speaker at all. immediately they set to work on their agenda. they had big, progressive goals that they laid out. she knew who she wanted in her leadership positions, because she had had these relationships with people for so long. it was a very smooth transition and i think because of that, it made it easier for them to get some big things done while they had a republican president. so they couldn't move things into law, but they could get the groundwork going so when they finally did have somebody in the white house to sign their legislation, they were able to push some very big things across the finish line. host: they had a republican
president, but by 2007 the war had been going on for a while, george w. bush's popularity was down. what happened in those legislative years? carl: i had said she said some intemperate things about george w. bush during the early days of the war, but by the time she takes over as speaker, public opinion was where she had been all along. george w. bush's public support was going down, but so was support of the war. nancy pelosi -- she felt vindicated by this and she said, --hink it was in marx angela sandolow's -- mark biography, there had been eight johns as speakers and four josephs, another one with a j, but never a nancy or geraldine. thesewas not given
flights of fancy, this flowery rhetoric that goes nowhere like warren harding, who i have written about recently, but she said, my chair was crowded and i felt uncomfortable. you have heard her say this. then she said, i realized elizabeth is in there, elizabeth kate stanton and lucretia mott and sojourner truth, and it's crowded. so when she is speaker, suddenly a barrier is gone forever. and what starts happening in politics is this gender gap democrats had dreamed about for two generations finally starts to be a permanent feature of american elections. i think it's one of the reasons. host: in 2008 the democrats do reclaim the white house and there is an ability to advance democratic priorities. the most important one that had been on their agenda for a while is health care. here is nancy pelosi as speaker after winning the legislative victory in health care. we are going to listen to what she had to say.
>> i think i'm right that 38 of your democrats voted against the house bill. after this difficult vote for your caucus and after the climate vote which was a difficult vote for the caucus, do you think you have exhausted the ability of your caucus on things like immigration? speaker pelosi: are you scrooge early? this is a great night. a great victory. we had the votes we needed to win the election. we are proud of all the members and the contribution they made. mr. clyburn said this vote has brought us closer together. i reject your premise. >> disabuse yourself of any theory that this lady is ever going to run out of energy, enthusiasm and focus. it will not happen. speaker pelosi: no. the answer is no.
host: you are used to her exchanges with the press. what did you see? susan: it's funny because i still have to run to keep up with her. here she is at 78, and i'm trying to chase her down a hallway. it was interesting what she just said. no, she has never lost control of her caucus. that is what she is trying to say there. they just passed the health care law there. that clip, this is where the muscle was. that bill was going to fail, it was dead. i think i interviewed every single member, this thing is over. after scott brown won in massachusetts, they felt they couldn't get it through the house, they felt the public had weighed in and said we don't want to this, it was over. and she one by one brought every member into her office because a lot of us stood outside the door while she did it. and she took that sinking ship and turned around and brought that health care bill to passage.
people call it obamacare, but it is more like pelosicare because she is the one that got across the finish line and she did with that strength and power over her own caucus. and back then it was much harder. as you heard the reporter, 38 people voted against it. that's a pretty small number considering she had dozens more than that were moderate democrats. they are no longer in the caucus now, they have since been voted out of office, but she had a much more difficult group to wrangle back then than she does now. she has a much more progressive group under her now. host: it was successful legislation, but i guess the impetus of the reporter question was that it was not bipartisan, and that democrats and republicans continue to still battle over health care. republicans have tried many times to overturn it. what kind of legislative victory has it been? carl: that's the way the city is now. you can't blame pelosi for that. in bill clinton's first budget, he got no republican votes. that is the environment we are
in. it's not healthy. susan is right. at the time barack obama got through with no democratic president could ever do. the other way to look at it is nancy pelosi did what no other speaker could do, she got health care through the legislature and through the congress. it's an achievement. is it forever? i don't know, but it's an achievement, and you have to tip your cap to her. host: what else would you put on her list of legislative achievements? susan: the other thing i think is addictive, and they are -- is a big deal, and they are connected -- is passing a climate change bill. she managed to get another really tough vote for the house that never made it through the senate but she managed to get this big piece of legislation through that would have capped carbon emissions. and now they are not giving up on that. they are ready to take it up again. she has talked about it just
this week, taking up new climate measures in the house this coming year. it was a big, important get that she got through the house, but they weren't able to do it. she also passed a lot of women's rights legislation and she got spending bills to the finish line. her biggest legacy from her first time a speaker will be the health care law. host: we are going to fast-forward through time, because time is always limited. there were a number of years when the democrats lost the congress and she went back to being minority leader. this time around the democrats set their sights on regaining the house of representatives in this election, which was the midterm after two years of president donald trump. but representative pelosi's path
to regaining the leadership was not certain. what were the dynamics this time around, who was opposing her and how serious was the opposition? carl: ever since the democrats lost the house in 2010 we heard the same thing, they have got to get rid of pelosi. the republicans spent $65 million on negative ads attacking her as a san francisco democrat, which, i'm from san francisco, so it is not an insult to me. they did not defend her. but you heard it in the town and in the press, they have to get rid of her. i saw her in i did an interview 2010. with her and i came back thinking these people are crazy. she is not going anywhere. first of all, she doesn't like to lose and she wants to win this again. she will retire as speaker. that's what i thought. the second thing was, pelosi convinced herself, and i see no evidence to the contrary, they had nobody that was better. she stayed there four elections, and she gamed it out.
susan: she kept being a powerhouse fundraiser, she was this past election as well. and i think that was probably one big pillar of her strength in the minority, that she kept raising money and saying, we are going to get it back, we are going to get the house back. there is always a swing. you wait until the right midterm election and that is what happened. host: she had a number of progressive candidates who had their eye on this leadership. susan: she will be the oldest speaker ever in her first term as speaker. host: probably the oldest leader and the oldest whip. susan: correct, and they have all been in for years and years. host: how does she approach that? susan: she listened, which she is good at. she does not just reject outright. she said, here is what we will do. i will commit to the term as speaker and the next time you will need to elect me with three
quarters of caucus support for me to have another term as speaker. that's what i will promise. she also said, we will consider this for lower leadership positions too, but that has not been solidified yet. but she told them look, i understand what you are saying, and if you support me now i will term-limit myself essentially, which i thought was a big give on her part because i could envision her staying much longer, and she potentially could, she could stay longer if people vote her in with three quarters of support. but she understood she really had to give away something because so many of these candidates campaigned saying they would not vote for her, that she had to do something. so she had to compromise in some way. host: we are going to show her november 2018 announcement that she has the votes to win reelection as speaker. representative pelosi: does anybody have any questions,
because i am only going to do this once? >> there are at least 17 members who have signed a letter saying they will not support you. representative pelosi: have you seen the letter? you have not seen it. ok. >> there are more who are willing to vote no. you have expressed total confidence. representative pelosi: i do. next question. this will be the last. >> would you need republican votes to win the gavel? representative pelosi: never. >> bottom line, madam leader. if the election was held on the house for, would you have the votes to be elected speaker? representative pelosi: yes. let me get back to your question. i intend to run the speakership with democratic votes, if that was your question.
i have overwhelming support in my caucus to be speaker of the house. and certainly we have many, many people in our caucus who could serve in this capacity. i happen to think at this point i'm the best person for that, i have answered six questions. do you want to ask about the omnibus? host: whether she had all those votes in the bag, she expressed confidence. susan: she lost a dozen or so votes, democrats who voted against her. host: and what did she do to those people who voted against her? susan: some of them didn't get committee assignments that they wanted. committee assignments.
there is no retribution because voting against the speakers not what it used to be. they voted against speaker paul ryan, so it is not totally unheard of now to hear this, is rhe going to get the vote o not? but who else could have gotten 218 votes? they only had 230 something, there caucus, so i don't think steny hoyer necessarily could have done it, because he has the same problem she does, he is getting old. some of the younger people want to move in. now the younger people have the support they do because they haven't been there as long, but she did this trade-off. i was assured by her leadership staff that she always had command of the votes and was never in danger of not becoming speaker. that may be true because that just wasn't another substitute and by default she would get it because she is the most powerful and the one with the most support. host: our next to last clip happened less than a month later and it is one we were probably watching with amazement when it happened.
this is the needing as -- me isng as the shutdown becoming more a reality, at the white house, when nancy pelosi and chuck schumer met with the president and the president decided to negotiate in front of the cameras. representative pelosi: the fact is that legislating, which is what we do, you make your point, you state your case, that is what house republicans would do if they have the votes. but there are no votes in the house, majority votes for a wall , no matter where you start. president trump: if i needed the votes in the house in one session and it would be done but it doesn't help because we need 10 democrats. we are doing this in a very friendly manner, it doesn't help for me to take a vote in the house where i will win easily with the republicans. speaker pelosi: you will not win. president trump: it does not help because i need 10 senators, that's the problem. speaker pelosi: you had the white house, you had the senate,
you had the house. president trump: the house would have given me the vote if i wanted it. nancy, i need 10 votes from chuck. speaker pelosi: the fact is, you do not have the votes in the house. president trump: nancy, i do. we need border security. representative pelosi: we will find out. is in at trump: nancy situation where it is not easy for her to talk right now, and i understand that. but we have to have border security. speaker pelosi: please don't characterize the strength i bring to this meeting as the leader of the house democrats who just won a big victory. let me just say, the president is representing his cards over there are not factual. we have to have an evidence-based conversation about what does work, what money has been spent and how effective it is. this is about the security of
our country. we take an oath to protect and defend. we don't want to have that mischaracterized by anyone. president trump: i agree with that. no no, i agree with that. speaker pelosi: so let's have a conversation where we don't have to contradict the statistics you put forth, but instead have a conversation about what will really work and what the american people deserve from us at this uncertain time in their lives where they have apprehension. senator schumer: we shouldn't shutdown down the government over a dispute. host: and in fact we all know what happened, the government did shut down for a record 35 days because they could not find common ground. both of you have been watching politics in this town, dynamics between opposing parties in the white house and capitol hill, what are you seeing when you see the conflict between those leaders? susan: that was one of the most unusual press conferences i think anyone in the media has
ever seen, where you have the president and the two leaders arguing in front of the cameras. they have these meetings regularly, and great mystery is what is said, and sometimes bits and pieces will be leaked out with a bit of spin depending on who is doing the leaking. but here you have in front of our eyes, as plain as day, the fighting that is happening over whether to have a wall and whether pelosi has the support as speaker. they are kind of trading insults. it was just a very strange yet entertaining press conference, but i think what that shows, it caught the two of them off guard. pelosi and schumer were not expecting that, president trump president.nusual he likes to bring the cameras in and make that part of the negotiations, and i think it caught them off guard, but i don't think anyone gained any ground in that little experience. what it did was, i think it probably hurt the future negotiations. this was a really tough
situation. the house ended up passing a bill with wall money in it despite what nancy pelosi was saying, but it never went anywhere in the senate. and i think you saw her sing to -- saying to the president, just standing up to him and saying, don't tell me i don't have the votes for speaker. we just won the majority of the house, and she was smart to make that case before the cameras. and the president as he has often has done personalized nancy pelosi and chuck schumer, talks about them often and has nicknames for them. this will stand to serve them how amongst their supporters? carl: it doesn't hurt a democrat if trump calls you a name, but in this case it gives nancy pelosi a chance to showcase what may be her greatest asset, which is her spine.
she is like made of steel when it comes to some of these things. president trump could have called harvey weinstein if he wanted to know this. in 2008, weinstein called her and there was a fight over delegates between barack obama and hillary clinton, weinstein was supporting hillary and pelosi was neutral, and he threatened her and was being crude and he threatened to withhold money from democratic candidates, he's a big fundraiser, and she said first of all, don't talk to the leader of the democrats in congress that way. do you know who you are talking to? and the second thing she told him is, don't ever threaten me again. she backed him down and he had to apologize. i don't know that president trump will have to apologize, but if you threaten this woman, you only make her more determined and if anything more efficient in rounding up her votes. that's what i thought when i was watching. host: she speaks often about her thick skin. susan: i thought when i watched the first time -- i was in the capital and we were watching it on c-span and i just thought, there she is, a tough italian.
carl: [laughter] take that as ad compliment. speaking from one italian to another. host: we have fast-forwarded through a couple of decades of nancy pelosi's legislative career and we can't do it justice with the amount of time we have, but we hope it showed her in various stages on her path to power. as we close, if you had to summarize the key to her success, the key to her power, what would it be? carl: i would say this, she ♪ alex people. -- outwork people. she is organized, she makes the calls, she works and works and works. this is a town of workaholics, but even there, she sticks out. susan: i would say endurance, ambition, and political acumen. those three things together she uses to stay in office, to move legislation that is important to her, keep her caucus united
behind her. i think those are the three things she does every day and has been part of her success. host: what can we expect the next two years as we look toward the presidential election? what do you think it will be like with her and the role of speaker? carl: i think she will try to set up the party so the democrats can win the white house. you have already seen this is going to be difficult to do on issues ranging from taxes to abortion, the energy in that party is on the far left and she is a very progressive person and always has been. i think what you are going to see from her, she is going to try to keep the party in a place where, to get the nomination you don't have to disqualify yourself from winning a general election. susan: she also wants to make sure the party doesn't go to o left with their agenda because that will hurt their chances to win back the white house and hurt their chances of maintaining a majority. she wants to keep them from going too far left on any big
issues, be it climate change or gun control, any of that stuff. she is going to play a little bit of the moderator, which she did during her first time as speaker. when she was a speaker when bush firstesident in 2007, question people asked her, are you going for impeachment of bush? the first answer she gave was, no, i'm not going to do that , i'm going to focus on the agenda of the american people want, which is jobs and the economy and health care. and she is doing that now, let's wait for the special counsel report, let's look at the committee look into things, she wants to make sure the party and their agenda is sellable to the american people, who may not be all on board with just all investigations and all-out attacks on the president. host: thank you for sharing your reporting expertise with our audience, and your observations about nancy pelosi.
really appreciate it. as we close, we are going to show you her speech as reelected speaker of the house, not the first in history, but she has already attained her place in history as first female speaker and this is when she reclaimed the gavel for the second time. >> [applause] speaker pelosi: thank you very much, leader mccarthy. i look forward to working with you in a bipartisan way for the good of the country, respecting our constituents. every one of you, i respect you and the constituents who sent each and every one of us here. they expect and deserve for us to try to find our common ground, and we must try to do that. stand our ground where we can, but always extend a hand of friendship. thank you, kevin mccarthy, for your leadership.
i look forward to working with you. congratulations on being leader of the party. >> [applause] and congratulations to each and every one of you. new members of congress, newly-reelected members of congress, thank you for your courage to run for office and to serve in this distinguished body. every two years we gather in this chamber for a sacred ritual under the dome of this temple of democracy, the capital of the united states, we renew the great american experiment. i'm proud to be a woman speaker of the house of this congress, which marks the 100th year of women having the right to vote. >> [applause]
>> this week at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, we look at the political careers of the four congressional leaders. using video from c-span archives and analysis by congressional reporters. on wednesday, we look at house minority leader kevin mccarthy's congressional career. on thursday, we wrap up the week with senate minority leader charles schumer. watch this week beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. journal,'s washington live every day with news and policy issues that impacted. coming wednesday morning, the national constitution center discusses president trump's emergency declaration and the legal challenges it faces. an irs taxpayer advocate joins us to talk about how the recent federal shutdown is affecting the irs and tax filing season. be sure to watch c-span's
washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. eastern wednesday morning. join the discussion. >> c-span's wrote to the white house coverage continues later this week with massachusetts senator elizabeth warren. she speaks to a new hampshire dinner in manchester. live friday at 7:30 p.m. eastern here on c-span. newhere are nearly 100 members of the u.s. house this year, including congresswoman ayanna pressley. she defeated the former representatives in the democratic primary for the boston-based seventh district. she previously served as an at-large member of the boston city council. this is not her first experience with congress. she worked for former representative joseph kennedy and former senator john kerry earlier in her career.
another representative is also a ,ormer congressional staffer serving in the early 2000's. prior to her election, she was ceo of a consulting firm. representative chris pappas has been involved in state and local politics since the early 2000, including three terms on the new hampshire council which advises the governor and two terms in the statehouse. the ownern pappas is of a manchester new hampshire restaurant visited by candidates. he is the first openly gay person elected to congress by new hampshire voters. representative jahana hayes came to attention when president obama named her 2016 national teacher of the year at a white house ceremony. she is the only second african-american to represent connecticut in congress. the first was republican gary heanks, who also represented t
fifth district in congress. new leaders. >>, senator bernie sanders released a video announcing his candidacy for president in 2020. here is a look at the 10 minute announcement. senator sanders: sen. sanders: i am bernie sanders. i am running for president. i am asking you to be part of a grassroots campaign. our campaign is not only about feeding president trump, the most dangerous president in history. it is not only about winning the democratic nomination and the general election. it is about transforming our country and creating a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial, and environmental justice.