TIME Magazine: Ten Questions for Nancy Pelosi
The House Speaker has written her first book, Know Your Power. Nancy Pelosi will now take your questions
Why have you taken impeachment off the table as an option for President George W. Bush?
I took it off the table a long time ago. You can’t talk about impeachment unless you have the facts, and you can’t have the facts unless you have cooperation from the Administration. I think the Republicans would like nothing better than for us to focus on impeachment and take our eye off the ball of a progressive economic agenda.
What plans do you have to help right our economic ship?
SPANISH FORK, UTAH
My life in politics began in a Democratic Party whose focus was almost entirely on the economy. The economic agenda I want to see is one that says: Let’s not argue about trade. Let’s educate, innovate and have good-paying jobs in our own country.
Why do the Democrats insist on blocking oil-drilling when we need the price of oil to drop?
Stan Edwards, ROTAN, TEXAS
Even if they drilled every place [in America], it would not have any impact on the price of oil now. You can’t increase domestic supply only by drilling. You have to invest in renewable-energy resources. That’s all longer term.
What do you think of Cindy Sheehan’s challenge to your congressional seat?
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIF.
I have the highest respect for Cindy. She lost her son in the Iraq war. What greater sacrifice could she make? She’s won the right–well, every American has the right–to run for office. Come on in; the water’s warm.
How often do you vote to stick with your party against your better judgment?
I always say to new members coming in: Follow the C’s. We uphold the Constitution, we represent our constituents, and votes can be a matter of conscience. You have to weigh all of that.
If you could change anything from your political career, what would it be?
Kevin Y.H. Sun
The biggest disappointment for me is that we’re still in Iraq. I keep revisiting it to think about what we could have done to stop this President from taking us to war.
Why do you focus so much on deriding the President? Wouldn’t it be better to just debate the issues?
I rarely make personal attacks on the President. He’s an amiable fellow. But he’s done tremendous harm. There isn’t any subject that you can name that hasn’t been severely damaged by the policies of the Bush Administration.
The Democratic Congress is perceived by the public to have accomplished almost nothing. What do you say to this?
Kyle Victor Stich, CHICAGO
We raised the minimum wage, made college more affordable with the biggest bill since the GI Bill was signed in 1944, passed a historic energy bill with emission standards. But we didn’t end the war, and I think that’s why people have a negative view of Congress.
You’ve written your new book for America’s daughters. Do your daughters see public service as a viable lifestyle?
Nancy Levine, NEW YORK CITY
I have four daughters and one son. They’re engaged in different professions, but I think they see a piece of public service in all that they do. I don’t know if any of them will go into politics themselves.
Will you see the day when a woman becomes President?
Liz Gonzalez, SANGER, CALIF.
I’m counting on it. It could be soon. Maybe it will be Hillary Clinton; maybe it will be someone she cleared the path for. But it’s only a matter of time.