Pelosi reflects on 25 years in Congress
June 6th, 2012
07:19 PM ET
11 years ago

Pelosi reflects on 25 years in Congress

(CNN) - At an event to commemorate her 25 years in Congress, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi talked about the need for less money and more women in politics.

"The answer to almost every 'How can we do better?' is one word: women. More women in power," Pelosi said at the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum in Washington.

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Her comments came in a discussion with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who largely praised Pelosi throughout the interview and at one point referred to her former speakership as "Sam Rayburn-esque."

While the minority leader reflected on her two and half decades in Congress, she mostly discussed her time as House speaker and being the first woman to hold the position.

She went into detail about the bitter 2004 fight between Republicans and Democrats over President George W. Bush's agenda to privatize Social Security. Offering a rare bout of praise, however, Pelosi repeatedly described the former president as a "lovely man" and made a point to mention bipartisan legislation passed during his tenure.

She also took sharp aim at the soaring increase in campaign spending, especially nodding to the 2010 Supreme Court case that paved the way for the start of super PACs. The landmark decision, she argued, was the primary reason Republicans won the House majority two years ago, thereby ending her tenure as speaker.

She warned the outpouring of money from third party groups was the largest threat to democracy.

"This is a government of the plutocracy, of the wealthy, or of the few oligarchs," she said. "Nothing less is at stake in this debate than our democracy, when the voice and the vote of the many determine elections, not the checkbooks of the very, very few."

Pelosi has long been an advocate for campaign finance reform, and in an election year amplified by an aggressive fight for women voters, Pelosi said a less money-fueled political system would bring greater diversity to the halls of Congress.

"It's gone too far. It's over the edge. We have to pull it back, and when we do, one of the benefits will be much more diversity and people able to take a chance and run," she said.

Filed under: 2010 • 2012 • Congress • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    'How can we do better?' is one word: women. More women in power," Pelosi said ...
    I have to agree with Minority Leader Pelosi on this one. America would be in much better shape if in 2008 we would have elected Sarah Palin as VP instead of Joe Biden. Well, Sarah and her President John McCain instead of Joe and his President Barack Obama.

    June 6, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |

    25 years too long!!

    June 6, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  3. Dale

    25 years too long, need to get this insider out of DC

    June 6, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  4. suazann

    this crook, 25 years to flleece the public and get rich in the process.

    June 6, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  5. Donkey Party

    Can't wait to read all the slime that seeps out of your filthy mouths like an infected wound, right-wingers.

    June 6, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  6. MrJaybo11

    A waste of air for 25 years. What a psychotic windbag. Perfect fit for California.

    June 6, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  7. Donkey Party

    Let your hate, ignorance, and illiteracy flow, right-wing dogs. You're all so brainwashed by the domestic terrorist GOP, you don't even know why you hate Pelosi, all you know is that you were instructed to hate her. Simpletons.

    June 6, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  8. gt

    old..old..old....retire old lady....old ideas ...old looking...your best days are long gone...retire.....

    June 6, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  9. usa1arizona

    This woman is a theif, crook and hypocrite...while the rest of are struggling in this economy and she says all of us must sacrifice during these hard times....Pelosi's personal wealth rose 62% ($21,700,000.00) over the last year.

    June 6, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  10. Charles J. Good

    Power and Control and Domination are at the Heart of all of this. It has been going on for a very long time. I would welcome anyone from your studio to discuss this in futher detail. Thank you for your time.

    June 6, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  11. Little Jimmy Truth

    Pelosi wants more women. But she dislikes Rice and Palin too much.

    June 6, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  12. RM Edaps

    What she means is more leftist women in power. Like herself, Barbara Boxer, Wasserman-Schultz, Big Sis Napolitano, and the 1/32nd Cherokee "native American" Elizabeth Warren. Otherwise she would support, not trash, such accomplished women as Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, Condi Rice, and Jan Brewer.

    June 6, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  13. Ed1

    You need to reflect yourself out and retire.

    What a waste like her buddies Obama and Reid.

    June 6, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I agree that the money coming in from 3rd parties is a great problem to the republic. If the supreme court had bothered to understand the consequences, then it wouldn't have made that decision. We need less money in politics and not more.

    June 6, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  15. Rodger

    Pelosi warned the outpouring of money from third party groups was the largest threat to democracy....however: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's net worth skyrocketed 62% last year, to a jaw-dropping $35.2 million, according to financial disclosure forms released so time ago
    Pelosi's drastic growth, from an initial $21.7 million in 2009, is attributed to recent stock gains and smart investments. Her husband reported raking in $1 million to $5 million last year from a sale of Apple stocks.

    The couple also has a commercial property in San Francisco and a home in St. Helena, Calif., each valued between $5 million and $25 million. She also has a stake in some valuable residential real estate in Sacramento.

    Sounds like a 1% to me!

    June 6, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  16. JamesOnThePotomac

    Please reflect from your rocking chair. Go home

    June 6, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  17. CRAIG

    The tremendous amount of money spent on campaigns is despicable especially since the republicans spend it mostly on lies. Also, there definately should be more women in politics, lots more since men have managed to really mess this country up.

    June 6, 2012 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  18. Larry L

    More women won't reverse the Supreme Court's decision to give the fat-cats control of our democracy. By allowing our Court to be little more than a judicial arm of the Republican Party, the voice of the people has been replaced with the voice of a few billionaires. This is the "democracy" we see in Mexico. How's that working out?

    June 6, 2012 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  19. Dave

    Pelosi should be investigated, along with many others in Congress. She's had 25 years to build relationships for her husband's business. It's time for term limits, and eliminating the Federal Employees separate healthcare program. If Obamacare is so good, Federal Employees should be on it as well.

    June 7, 2012 12:39 am at 12:39 am |