Since 1987, Nancy Pelosi has represented California's Eighth District in the House of Representatives. The Eighth District includes most of the City of San Francisco including Golden Gate Park, Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, and many of the diverse neighborhoods that make San Francisco a vibrant and prosperous community. Overwhelmingly elected by her colleagues in the fall of 2002 as Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi is the first woman in American history to lead a major party in the U.S. Congress.
Before being elected Leader, she served as House Democratic Whip for one year and was responsible for the party's legislative strategy in the House. On January 4, 2007, Nancy Pelosi was elected Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. She has been a proponent of increased investments in health research and authored legislation to create an independent national commission to assess the overall performance of the federal government before, during, and after the September 11 attacks.
Question: Has raising five children helped you run the House Democrats?
Nancy Pelosi: Well, raising the family I think is the most challenging and daunting task of all. And I say to all parents, "Thank you and congratulations for what you are doing." Because it is challenging and it looks beautiful and there is tremendous joy and fulfillment associated with it--but it is constant and it is a task.
And we want to respect the individuality of our children, and that can be challenging as well.
And so what I learned from raising my family of five children, all very close in age, was that the discipline--I mean discipline for me, not them--the discipline, the diplomacy, the sense of organization and just the spirit of making it fun, are very important to any endeavor that you engage in; certainly when you are working with hundreds of very individual people here.
But it is both very exciting challenges, but nothing prepared me better for being Speaker of the House than raising my five children.
Recorded on: June 24, 2008