You know Pelosi, like Obama, made history--the first female Speaker of the House, and she was loudly proud of it too. When she made history, I did a little background search on her and began paying attention to her when she was on TV or in the news. I wondered about her sincerity for helping the poor, since she is so rich and from a well-off political family. And I wondered about her sincerity as a Catholic, since she is such a staunch defender of abortion.
You can say Pelosi is clueless--and she often gives that impression--but she is very effective as a leader. She seems really likeable to me, and I don't doubt as a younger woman, she was attractive and desirable. She is very popular with the dems in the house and with her constituency in San Fran. She has friends all over the place, many of them big donors for dems.
Here's the two things that impressed me the most about Pelosi: She is a champion for women's rights and ambitious women, and wins their favor and votes. Her main achievement though is not with women, but with the military, veterans and patriotism. The moment she became Speaker in 2006, she set about to change the national perception of the dems as not very fond of the military and of the dems as not so patriotic. She gave speeches to that effect. She sponsored resolutions and bills to support the veterans. I think she has been very effective in paving the way for Obama's elections.
When asked what was her agenda as Speaker: she said, "Children, children and children." Yeah, that's Pelosi, clueless, but rich, very influential and effective.