It Only Took 218 Years
Posted on Jan 5, 2007
Nancy Pelosi’s new job as the first woman speaker of the House has been something of a footnote to the Democrats’ success in the midterm elections, but her truly historic ascension has inspired women and men alike—even Republicans.
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, took his four daughters to the swearing-in: “It’s a good role model for all women, and my daughters can see that they can get to the highest levels of government.”
This was the visual they had dreamed about for years, for decades, for a lifetime. A woman standing on the wooden dais before the high-backed leather chair of the speaker of the House, the gavel in her hand, the American flag draped behind her.
And when Nancy Pelosi made American history yesterday and was formally elected speaker, the raucous cheers that rang through the House chamber came from young girls in Mary Janes, working women in business suits, elderly ladies carrying canes and more than a few men. For hours after the formal swearing-in, the ascension of Pelosi was the topic throughout the corridors of the Capitol. Several women said they looked forward to the State of the Union address later this month because Pelosi would be in the speaker’s chair and a woman would share the television screen with the president.
“For our daughters and granddaughters, today we have broken the marble ceiling,” Pelosi told cheering members of the House and their families who crowded into the chamber as the Democratic leader was formally elected speaker of the 110th Congress. “For our daughters and granddaughters today, the sky is the limit.”