In all our years of publishing, Palmer Report has never interviewed anyone; it’s just not how we’ve operated. But that all changed this week when Palmer Report was given the opportunity to participate in a roundtable interview with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. She shared her thoughts on a number of topics, and Palmer Report got to speak with her about what comes next.
Speaker Pelosi opened the discussion by addressing her top priorities for the next House term if Joe Biden wins. She stated her first priority will be HR1, the reform bill for cleaner government. Her other two top legislative priorities will be health care and jobs. Pelosi’s additional priorities will include the infrastructure bill, lower drug costs, voting rights advancement, LGBT equality, protecting DREAMers, paycheck fairness, the Violence Against Women Act, gun background checks, climate action, and justice in policing.
I asked Nancy Pelosi about this week’s news that she plans to run for Speaker of the House again. Her response:
Let me say that I offhandedly responded to the question. What I went on to say is that we have to win the election and we have to win the Senate, which is kind of the direction I was going in. But yeah, okay, I don’t want to be coy about it, yes I will. I believe that what I say to my colleagues is, our diversity is our strength. We respect all the exuberances in our party. That’s part of our vitality. I wouldn’t even want to be the leader of a party that was lock step, rubber stamp. Our diversity is our strength. But our unity is our power. And we build our unity by building consensus. Nothing comes down, ‘This is what we’re going to do. It’s how do we work together to protect America’s working families? Because for all our diversity, one of the unifying things is America’s working families. That’s what we are there to do, to protect our families, for the children. For their health, their education, the economic security of families, a clean and safe environment, including safe from guns. An environment in which they can thrive, a world at peace, so they can reach their fulfillment. It’s always about the children.
Teddy Roosevelt talked about you’re in the arena. You’ve got to be prepared to take a punch. You’ve got to be prepared to throw a punch, for the children. In any event, it’s up to my colleagues, it’s up to them who the next Speaker is. But for right now I just want us to win on Tuesday.
I also asked Speaker Pelosi, the highest ranking elected woman in the country, what message she has for someone like my eight year old niece when it comes to the future of women in American politics. Her answer:
It’s the most wonderful thing. Little girls have so much more opportunity. You know why? When I first became Whip, the letters that I got that were most stunning to me were from dads who were talking about their daughters. They were saying thank you for making another avenue possible for my daughter. My daughter can do anything. And that was really different from another generation when it wasn’t quite that way. So as to your niece, just tell her to be herself and know the power of herself, and just to follow whatever she enjoys doing, because that’s the authentic precious little girl that she is.
Speaker Pelosi made a point of reminding everyone that “When you’re in the stretch, especially the home stretch, you whip the lead. You don’t take anything for granted. You just keep whipping that lead, and hopefully that lead will take us to a Democratic Senate.” She emphasized that in addition to the presidency, “We have to win the Senate. It’s absolutely, absolutely essential.”
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report