Pelosi Among Most Powerful of Speakers
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2008 3:03 PM CST

(Newser) – Nancy Pelosi may wield her influence behind the scenes, but she is the most powerful woman in the history of US politics, Politico reports, and with recent Democratic gains in Congress, she's poised to have power few other speakers could match. Though she’s nice about it, “whatever Nancy wants, Nancy gets,” a lawmaker said.

Pelosi’s power is of the soft variety, and she makes a point of having cordial, even intimate relationships with all her colleagues. But she should be counted among the best to hold the speaker post, observers say, in the same league as Sam Rayburn and Tip O'Neill, though her record of accomplishments doesn't equal theirs. Said former Rep. and top Dem Dick Gephardt: “I think you’d have to compare her to the great people we’ve seen in the past."