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 Post subject: ELLEN GOODMAN: A SEAT AT THE TABLE
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:28 am 
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Ellen Goodman: A Seat at the Table

Nov 2, 2006
By Ellen Goodman

BOSTON—By now you may think that “San Francisco Liberal’’ is her last name. “Nancy Pelosi San Francisco Liberal’’ is being used to frighten voters everywhere from Indiana to Georgia to Scarborough Country. She’s caricatured as “Michael Moore,’’ “a specter hanging like a cloud over America,’’ and a woman waiting to rule the country with “illegal immigrants’’ and a “radical homosexual agenda.’’

But if being demonized is the price for power, Pelosi is willing to pay it. The Democratic leader may not be renowned for delivering the party message, but she’s great at keeping the House Democrats on message. And if they win a majority next week, she will become the first woman speaker of the House, two heartbeats away from the presidency.

So this Italian-Catholic mother of five is relaxed about her transformation into the Wicked Witch of the West Coast. Racing through the last campaign week, Pelosi says that if she’s the one “the White House fears most, I take that as a badge of honor.’’ As for the woman as a target? “The minute you go into this arena, especially at this altitude, you have to prove you can breathe the air.’’

Even if the air is polluted.

This year, 134 women are running for Congress, including 18 in the 47 hottest races. There’s a good chance that women will increase their numbers in Congress by 10 or more. At the same time, this is one of the (1) toughest, (2) ugliest, (3) most competitive races in modern history.




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