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Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the New American Politics$
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Ronald M. PETERS, Jr. and Cindy Simon Rosenthal

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195383737

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383737.001.0001

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Power in the House

Power in the House

(p.63) Chapter 3 Power in the House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the New American Politics

Ronald M. Peters

Cindy Simon Rosenthal

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes Pelosi’s leadership of the House in the 110th Congress in relationship to her organization of the Democratic Caucus, her efforts in consensus building among Democrats, her attitude toward Republicans, her use of her power under the rules of the House (in policymaking and in crisis management). The picture that emerges from published accounts and informants is that of a Speaker who goes to extraordinary lengths to build bridges across the caucus divides and to foster consensus within it. This Speaker is willing to apply the levers of power when necessary in order to achieve her objectives, primary among which are to maintain and enlarge the Democratic majority while passing legislation that furthers policy objectives on which most Democrats can agree. To accomplish both of these goals, she relies on three integrated strategies: control, compromise, and sequencing.

Keywords:   Nancy Pelosi, House of Representatives, Speaker of the House, Democrats, women politicians, leadership, 110th Congress

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