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Slobbering CBS on Pelosi: Great Speaker or Greatest Speaker?

slobbering-cbs-on-pelosi:-great-speaker-or-greatest-speaker?

Nancy Pelosi, great Speaker of the House or greatest Speaker of the House? That was about the general tone on CBS This Morning, Tuesday, as co-host Tony Dokoupil interviewed USA Today‘s Susan Page about her new biography of Nancy Pelosi, Madam Speaker. The two tried to one-up each other with slobbering praise for the liberal Democrat. 

Dokoupil could barely get past introducing his guest as he gushed, “Susan, good morning to you, the most powerful woman in American political history. I think you can drop political and say most powerful woman in American history.” 

Noting that Pelosi’s dad was also a Congressman, Dokoupil sounded like a press release: “You can say Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has been in the spotlight since the day she was born. Her birth front page news in Baltimore where her father was a congressman at the time.” 

Page deemed Pelosi the winner in the four year-long struggle with Donald Trump, jeering over his “forced retirement.” 

DOKOUPIL: Highly consequential, she almost walked away from politics in 2016 and the story goes, Donald Trump was elected and decided to stay. In the four years of battles that we all witnessed who do you think came out with the better part? 

PAGE: Well I’ll just say that Donald Trump is back in Mar-a-Lago in a forced retirement and Nancy Pelosi is still Speaker of the House. It’s almost as if the entire career in the center of these decades were preparation for her to become the Democratic face in the opposition to Donald Trump I think really burnished her reputation and made, I think, some Americans realize how important she had been previously, perhaps not gotten all of the credit that she had deserved. 

Nowhere in the interview did Dokoupil grill Page about just how radical the Speaker is. One doubts that Page does it in her book. 

The CBS segment was sponsored by Claritin and Hyundai. Click on the links to let them know what you think. 

A transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more. 

CBS This Morning

4/20/2021

8:18 AM ET

TONY DOKOUPIL: You can say Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has been in the spotlight since the day she was born. Her birth front page news in Baltimore where her father was a congressman at the time. Pelosi’s political education and evolution into the most powerful women in American political history is the subject of a new biography. Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power is by Susan Page who joins us now. Susan, good morning to you, the most powerful woman in American political history. I think you can drop political and say most powerful woman in American history. Second in line to the presidency. Twice elected Speaker of the House. And a difficult interview. She comes on the program and says what she wants to say and nothing more. What surprises you in the conversation for the book? 

SUSAN PAGE: One thing that was great in the ten interviews, I think she came to trust me a little bit more. I interviewed here last week for USA Today and she talked about the events of January 6th with candor. She said she thinks in fact that mob did intend to kill her they would have had a battle because she’s a street fighter. Then she lifted up her foot and pointed to her four-inch stilettos and said she would have used these as weapons. So she is a tough interview, but also such an interesting, consequential person in American history. 

DOKOUPIL: Highly consequential, she almost walked away from politics in 2016 and the story goes, Donald Trump was elected and decided to stay. In the four years of battles that we all witnessed who do you think came out with the better part? 

PAGE: Well I’ll just say that Donald Trump is back in Mar-a-Lago in a forced retirement and Nancy Pelosi is still Speaker of the House. It’s almost as if the entire career in the center of these decades were preparation for her to become the Democratic face in the opposition to Donald Trump I think really burnished her reputation and made, I think, some Americans realize how important she had been previously, perhaps not gotten all of the credit that she had deserved. 

DOKOUPIL: She has been re-elected speaker at the time when the incoming was not only from those on the right in political attack ads and speeches, but also those on the left. How has she been able to balance the two? 

PAGE: Well, she’s done it with some skill. She, herself is a very liberal person. She’s a New Deal kind of Democrat. But she thinks and understands it’s the Democratic members of the House from the swing districts that have given Democrats the majority of the ability to get things done. And that’s how she’s navigated that very narrow thread. You know, at the moment, she can only lose two Democratic votes and get things through this very partisan —  this very partisan House. That leaves her almost no wiggle room to hold the wings of the 

party together. 

DOKOUPIL: Yeah. One of the amazing things about Madam Speaker is she did not enter politics until she was in her late 40s. I believe 47. Had already raised five children. But clearly had learned the lessons of power which is the subtitle of the book. What is the biggest lesson, would you say, from the career of Nancy Pelosi? 

PAGE: Yes, there’s a lesson she learned from her father who served three terms as the mayor of Baltimore. It was that no one was going to give you power, you have to seize it. And while she was late to running for office herself, once she is there, that’s a precept she’s followed. It is advise she’s given to other politicians. It’s made her gain power, hold power and wield power. 

DOKOUPIL: She’s been very effective at it. Susan page, thank you very much. The book is Madam Speaker. It is on sale today. Pick it up. 

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