Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi--the first woman to hold the position--has been the GOP's preferred whipping-girl for years, made into a wicked-witch "Cruela de Vil" caricature by the Right to drum up outrage, writes Daily Beast columnist Kirsten Powers
. But one thing Pelosi's infuriated critics haven't been able to touch is her ability to get the job done. Writes Power:
Nancy Pelosi will without a doubt be remembered as one of the most effective and powerful Speakers in U.S. history.
Her power has flowed from an unusually adept organizational ability combined with prodigious fundraising for her members. She presided over Democratic victories in the 2006 and 2008 elections...she has overseen one of the most productive Congresses in history to include the passage of an economic stimulus package, a massive health care overhaul and financial reform.
It's Pelosi's uncompromising pragmatic bona fides, her interest in getting legislation passed and making progress over preserving her own image, that has put her politically at risk during these elections. She knew that getting health care passed might make her a target, but she did it anyway, Powers said. And if there's anyone who should be taking the heat for the Democratics choice of agenda or a particular strategy, she feels it's the White House, which she believes often left its Speaker out hustling while it retreated.
Pelosi held a very diverse caucus together under incredibly difficult circumstances. The president was frequently disengaged publicly, even on his signature health care plan. And the Senate didn’t always hold up its end of the bargain.
If Pelosi gets unseated as a result of the election, says Powers, she will go down in history not only as a trailblazer for women in politics, but as one of the best Speakers in history--something President Obama recently said as well.
Even Pelosi herself seems to agree to some extent that her legacy has been misrepresented, telling Politics Daily that
"we haven't really gotten the credit for what we have done."
Read the full column at The Daily Beast