Nancy Pelosi — Taking Advantage of a Seat at the Table

In Voting On

WASHINGTON — Representative Nancy Pelosi might have retired from Congress had Hillary Clinton been elected, content that she was leaving the government in capable female hands.

“One of the reasons I stayed here is because I thought Hillary Clinton would win, we’d have a woman president and so there would be a woman not at a seat at the table, but at the head of the table for the world,” said Ms. Pelosi, the liberal Californian and longtime leader of House Democrats.

“We wanted to have a woman president,” she said in an interview for the New York Times podcast “The New Washington.” “But when we didn’t, then I couldn’t walk away and say, O.K., just let all the men have the seats at the table that are making decisions for our country.”

[How to listen: If you don’t see an audio player on this page, or if you would like to subscribe to “The New Washington” at no charge, follow the instructions at the end of this article.]

As Republicans last week came up short yet again in their push to repeal the Affordable Care Act — a health care law that she was instrumental in writing and enacting as speaker of the House — Ms. Pelosi feels she is taking good advantage of the place she retained at the negotiating table. By virtue of Democratic unity and Republican disarray, she said, Democrats have been able to shape spending bills to their liking (no border wall, for instance) and hold off Republicans on their attempts to unravel the health care law.

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