Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer are about as different as Democrats get; he’s an affable Blue Dog budget hawk, she’s the pugilistic progressive poster girl. When Hoyer ran for House majority leader, Pelosi backed the other guy. But these days, the two are thick as thieves, Politico reports, using ideological differences to their advantage. On big votes, each is able to corral a different portion of the party.
“They’re both very smart politically,” says Rep. Barney Frank. “Nancy is a great strategist. … Steny is superb at managing the floor.” Neither moves without talking to the other. Despite their diametrically opposed styles, reporters can’t find a hint of tension. “They made this work,” says one California congressman, “in a way that I wouldn’t have anticipated.”