Person of Interest

Beware Speaker Pelosi

All eyes are currently on Barack Obama as the nation’s first black president, but what about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who, Politico reports, is now "the most powerful woman in U.S. political history"? Pelosi is "preparing to wield her gavel in a way that few, if any, recent speakers could match." Her power is cemented by the facts that she has no leadership rivals, is the "chief fundraiser" for House Democrats—raking in $26 million alone this cycle—and is also House Democrats' "leading communicator," assuming the House floor more than any other speaker in recent history. Pelosi's style is relatively low-key and nonconfrontational, but that shouldn't lead you to mistake her as anything other than, in the words of bitter rival and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, "the most powerful speaker in a generationshe will be able to do anything she wants."