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April 14, 2007

Pelosi Rocks Seattle

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, engaged in something of a whirlwind tour through Seattle yesterday. In the morning she held a fundraiser for the DCCC and afternoon found her at Seattle Biodiesel, where she made the pledge to continue supporting our region's efforts to reduce carbon emissions by using renewable sources of energy. She zoomed from there to Seattle City Hall, for an early evening reception with local activists and women's groups (more on this later).

It seems the only person who was disturbed by the Speaker's visit was Luke Esser, the state GOP's new whiner-in-chief. Lukey doesn't think the Speaker has accomplished enough in her first 100 days. I guess he didn't get the memo about the First 100 Hours legislation that passed weeks ago, dealing with a raise in the minimum wage, tuition aid for college students, new ethics rules in the Congress (rules that mop the floor with serial offenders like Tom "Bugman" Delay) and putting $14 billion of erstwhile profits for oil companies into a reserve for the development of renewable energy sources. And in recent days, Mrs. Pelosi pulled together Blue Dogs and Progressives alike to challenge Bush on the continuation of his Dirty War in Iraq. Yeah, you're right, Lukey, the Democrats have just been so lazy, huh? Wipe your nose and go running home to mommy, because it turns out that another state Republican doesn't want to share your snotty hanky.

One formerly prominent Republican joined the gaggle of big-name Democrats at the podium: former Seattle City Attorney Doug Jewett, a one-time GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate, now chief executive of Ramgen, a research and development company focused on energy-related applications of supersonic aircraft technology.

Jewett said before the news conference that he was impressed with Pelosi's commitment to alternative energy.

There are actually some forward-thinking Republicans -- unfortunately, there are also whiners who spend all their time lamenting the good ol' days of ancient Republicanville, where one could look over yonder mountain and catch sight of real movie stars like Ronald Reagan and true "Keepers of the Flame" like Bush's grandaddy, the Nazi supporter. But now we look around and just find lost and lonely momma's boys like Dino Rossi and... Luke Esser.

No matter. With Bush's approval rating still lurking between toilet and sewer at 30% (and falling), state Republicans can fret all they want to about Speaker Pelosi. She's making history as the first woman to hold the job, and as one of the most politically adept Speakers in Congressional history.

Her role as a standard bearer for American women is not far from her thoughts. The reception at City Hall was held in the Bertha Knight Landes Room. (Landes was the first female mayor of a major American city, taking office in 1926, just 6 years after women gained the right to vote.) Mrs. Pelosi spoke about the responsibility she felt the first time she met with President Bush after the elections, and how important it is that her accomplishments send the message that women can and should serve in the public, political arena. She offered these sentiments before a joyful, cheering crowd of about 300 of Seattle's most politically active women. There were educators, social services advocates and domestic violence counselors as well as representatives from organizations that train high schoolers to be future leaders. The president of the Seattle League of Women Voters was in attendance, as was 8th district candidate Darcy Burner, whom Pelosi invited to the stage and gave congratulations for bringing national attention to Washington State and helping to fuel the momentum for a change in leadership in Congress. I probably don't need to mention that the Mayor and the entire City Council proudly flanked the Speaker as she delivered her strong message of hope, dedication of purpose, and activism. Pelosi is physically small, but in person it's hard not to feel the immensity of her passion for positive change.

Though she was on a tight schedule to fly back home before the Congressional session resumes on Monday, she and her staff had made a promise that every single woman in that room would get to have her picture taken with the Speaker. She stayed until that promise was fulfilled.

Posted by shoephone on April 14, 2007 at 01:46 AM in National and International Politics, Policy | Permalink


Thanks, Shoe.

I was sorry to miss that event and glad to get a report of it. It brought tears to my eyes to think about Pelosi and the changes in the tone of the national conversation since she took over as Speaker just a few months ago.

I'm in Portland babysitting one in another generation of strong women - a three year old with a mind of her own. While her parents get a much needed few days away.

Posted by: Lynn | Apr 14, 2007 7:45:07 AM

Thanks for taking us there, Shoephone - I could feel the electricity. Speaker Pelosi seems very adept at balancing a political vision with achieving the politically possible.

Posted by: op99 | Apr 14, 2007 3:29:37 PM

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