Pelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it'

Pelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it'
© Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Weekly jobless claims fall to 498K, hitting new post-lockdown low | House to advance appropriations bills in June, July Rural Democrats urge protections from tax increases for family farms Cheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women MORE (D-Calif.) in an upcoming biography says that the biggest lesson she learned during her time in Washington, D.C., is that you have to "seize" power because it is not given. 

Pelosi revealed the lesson, which she said she initially learned from her father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., in interviews with USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page.

Page is the author of an upcoming book about Pelosi titled “Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power.” 


Page in an interview on the book published Friday pointed out that D’Alesandro was a primary challenger to a long-term incumbent Democrat when he eventually took his seat as a U.S. representative from Maryland. 

The journalist said Pelosi, the first woman elected to be Speaker of the House, followed in her father’s footsteps by beating out Rep. Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOn The Money: Weekly jobless claims fall to 498K, hitting new post-lockdown low | House to advance appropriations bills in June, July House to consider anti-Asian hate crimes bill, protections for pregnant workers this month Top Democrat: Bill to boost Capitol security likely to advance this month MORE (D-Md.) for the House Democratic whip role in 2001, "at a time that was considered quite 'how dare she.'" 

Page said of Pelosi, "When people come to her and say, you know, 'Give me power,' or 'Should I run?' This is the advice that she's given over the years: ‘Nobody's going to give it to you. You've got to take it.'”

The lesson is one of a series of insights unveiled in the upcoming book to be released on Tuesday. The work consists of 10 interviews with Pelosi and 150 interviews with political friends, foes and family members close to the Speaker.

USA Today reported last week that Pelosi, in conversations for the book, revealed that she had planned on retiring from elected office until former President TrumpDonald TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments MORE won the 2016 election. 


Pelosi told Page that she had been confident that then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMcConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' Hillary Clinton: There must be a 'global reckoning' with disinformation Pelosi's archbishop calls for Communion to be withheld from public figures supporting abortion rights MORE would protect her policy interests had she won, adding that she felt “physical” shock when Trump came out of the election victorious. 

The Speaker also in the book gives advice to progressive Democrats including members of the “squad,” Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOvernight Energy: Update on Biden administration conservation goals | GOP sees opportunity to knock Biden amid rising gas prices | Push for nationwide electric vehicle charging stations The Memo: The GOP's war is already over — Trump won Ocasio-Cortez, Levin introduce revised bill to provide nationwide electric vehicle charging network MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSchumer works to balance a divided caucus's demands White House raises refugee cap to 62,500 Sharpton eulogizes Daunte Wright: 'Tags of racism' have expired MORE (Minn.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyBush testifies before Congress about racist treatment Black birthing people face during childbirth, pregnancy Genetic material from 1993 killing revealed years after another man executed for crime, groups say Advocates warn against complacency after Chauvin verdict MORE (Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSix House Democrats ask Garland to review case of lawyer placed under house arrest over Chevron suit OSHA sends draft emergency temporary standard for COVID-19 to OMB review Imperative that Democrats figure out what went wrong in 2020 MORE (Mich.). 

“You’re not a one-person show. This is the Congress of the United States,” Pelosi said of the lawmakers. 

Excerpts of the book obtained by Punch Bowl News also revealed that Pelosi called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' McConnell alma mater criticizes him for 1619 comments McConnell amid Trump criticism: 'I'm looking forward, not backward' MORE (R-Ky.) an "enabler of some of the worst stuff" in Congress and that he “is not a force for good in our country.”