House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday suggested that she will still be the most powerful elected woman in U.S. politics even if California Sen. Ka
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday suggested that she will still be the most powerful elected woman in U.S. politics even if California Sen. Kamala Harris is elected vice president in November.
During an interview with The Washington Post, Pelosi was asked about Harris’ history-making moment on Wednesday night, when she became the first Black and Indian American woman to accept a major party’s vice presidential nomination.
Although Pelosi lauded her as a “personification of the American dream” and “a great guardian of our Constitution,” she implied that Harris, 55, may not wield much power as vice president.
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“Well, I’m not sure how powerful the vice president is,” Pelosi said during the interview. “But nonetheless….No, that will depend on the president. And I’m sure that Joe Biden will extend to Kamala Harris the same strength that President Obama extended to him.”
She continued: “But that is all derivative from the president of the United States. So I’m hoping that that will be the case and I can just do my job as speaker and enjoy the thought that there is a vice president who is a woman, a woman of color.”
Pelosi has more than once lamented the fact that no woman has been elected president.
“My disappointment is that every time I’m introduced as the most powerful woman in American history, it breaks my heart because I think we should have a president,” she told the Washington Post in March.
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Pelosi is the first and only woman to have served as speaker of the House of Representatives, making her the most powerful elected woman in the country. She held the position from 2007 to 2011 and was elected to the position again in 2019 after Democrats reclaimed control of the House.
In 2019, Harris came to the defense of Pelosi after New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused the speaker of the “persistent singling out of newly elected women of color.”
“That’s not my experience with Nancy Pelosi,” Harris said at the time during an interview with “The Breakfast Club,” a New York-based radio show. “And I’ve known her and worked with her for years. I’ve known her to be very respectful of women of color and very supportive of them.”
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Pelosi’s comments came one day after she spoke at the Democratic National Convention, during which she painted President Trump as an enemy of women, saying she’s witnessed “firsthand Donald Trump’s disrespect for facts, working families and for women in particular — disrespect written into his policies toward our health and our rights, not just his conduct.
“But we know what he doesn’t–that when women succeed, America succeeds,” she added.