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: Do you think Washington is made for big ideas?
Nancy Pelosi: No. <laughs> And it's following its own natural instinct. Washington is a city of the status quo where incremental-ism has been the order of the day. That, by the way, is not the tradition of our founders. Our founding fathers were entrepreneurial thinkers; they thought big. Just review what they did. And they thought it, and they wrote a constitution that enabled us to think big. Somewhere along the way we got stuck in the status quo city of Washington, D.C. But when Democrats took the majority we sought to unlock that stranglehold, that status quo thinking has on Washington. We made some major changes in legislation-- but with a new President to sign the bills we'll be able to do much more.
Recorded on: June 24, 2008