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 PelosiYellen to Congress: Raise the debt ceiling or risk 'irreparable harm' Freedom Caucus presses McCarthy to force vote to oust Pelosi The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Tokyo Olympics kick off with 2020-style opening ceremony 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.” 

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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 HoyerDemocrats warn leadership against excluding House from infrastructure talks Ethics panel upholds 0 mask fines against Greene, other GOP lawmakers Bipartisan antitrust leaders urge FTC to pursue Facebook case 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 TrumpPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Has Trump beaten the system? MORE won the 2016 election. 

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Pelosi told Page that she had been confident that then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Shontel Brown gaining ground against Nina Turner in Ohio: poll Biden hits trail for McAuliffe in test of his political brand 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-CortezJD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary On The Money: Yellen to Congress: Raise the debt ceiling or risk 'irreparable harm' | Frustration builds as infrastructure talks drag MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOvernight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia US launches second Somalia strike in week Omar reflects on personal experiences with hate in making case for new envoy MORE (Minn.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOmar reflects on personal experiences with hate in making case for new envoy Overnight Health Care: Fauci clashes with Paul - again | New York reaches .1B settlement with opioid distributors | Delta variant accounts for 83 percent of US COVID-19 cases Duckworth, Pressley introduce bill to provide paid family leave for those who experience miscarriage MORE (Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOmar reflects on personal experiences with hate in making case for new envoy House passes bill requiring EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water Ohio becomes battleground for rival Democratic factions 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 McConnellHas Trump beaten the system? Yellen to Congress: Raise the debt ceiling or risk 'irreparable harm' The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Tokyo Olympics kick off with 2020-style opening ceremony 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.”