Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

“The days of smoke-filled rooms in the United States Capitol are over... Medical science has unquestionably established the dangerous effects of secondhand smoke...I am a firm believer that Congress should lead by example.”
"Nancy Pelosi,
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker


Once again, the first woman speaker in the U.S. House of Representatives is challenging its long-standing norms.

Until recently, house members could smoke in the Speaker’s Lobby just outside the House floor but, on Wednesday, Pelosi banned smoking in the area.

Banning smoking from public buildings is hardly new or groundbreaking, but what’s made Pelosi exceptional as speaker is her boldness and honesty when articulating her views. For example, she is open about her disapproval of the war in Iraq and the recent troop increase.

She has also been relatively successful in avoiding typical gender-based criticism, and has celebrated her dual role as a mom/grandmother and politician. Since most prominent successful women underplay their mother role to get ahead, it’s refreshing to see a woman show it’s possible to play both parts.

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