Nancy Pelosi gets SF street named after her

May 21, 2012 6:58:12 PM PDT
She paved the way for health care reform in the House, now House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has a street named after her. It's in Golden Gate Park, what used to be Middle Drive East between John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive is now named after Nancy Pelosi.

This is the first turn in the celebration of Nancy Pelosi's 25 years in Congress. There will be other ceremonies in the weeks to come, but on Monday, the mayor of San Francisco dedicated this street between JFK and MLK to the most politically powerful woman in San Francisco history.

Mayor Ed Lee unveiled the new street sign as the House democratic leader called it a highly emotional moment.

"When I heard about it I said, 'No, no, please don't do that. I'm embarrassed, please don't do that,' until I heard that it was between JFK and MLK Jr. Drive and then I thought 'Well, I would like to go there and bear witness to the greatness of those two men and bring all of you with me and here we are today,'" said Pelosi.

Pelosi has had a remarkable congressional career. In 2006, she was elected by the Democratic caucus to be speaker of the House, making her the most politically powerful woman in Washington. But she told me on Monday the high point so far wasn't that day in 2006. It was the day in November of 2009 when the House passed the Affordable Health Care Act.

"It made a difference in the lives of American people, that is the job we went there all of us to do and that was the proudest moment no question," said Pelosi.

That is classic Pelosi says Democratic Party fundraiser Mark Buell.

"She's smart, hard working, and she's willing to go the extra mile and she just does it every time," said Buell.

Twenty-five years ago, Pelosi won election to the seat held by Phillip Burton and then Sala Burton who filled out her late husband's term. Sala's brother in law John Burton was Pelosi's campaign chairman. I asked him if he had any idea that Pelosi's career would turn out as it has.

"I really didn't, but I'll tell you who did, my sister-in-law Sala, who literally on her death bed talked Nancy into running," said Burton.

Pelosi is no longer speaker of the House, but she could be again if Democrats take the House and she's working overtime to make that happen in this election cycle. Pelosi has raised $43 million for the Democratic Party, going to 500 fund raising events.

Last week ABC Congressional correspondent Jonathan Karl pressed her to say if she'll run again after this election if she isn't able to come back as speaker and she told him what she told me this afternoon.

"Well that's less important than whether the Democrats win in November," said Pelosi.

That would be a classic Pelosi response. This is a politician who rarely, if ever, deviates from her message. Which kind of fits with where we're standing on Nancy Pelosi Drive, she's got plenty of that.


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