Leadership

One Small Win for Pelosi

Sure, the health-care bill Nancy Pelosi rolled out Thursday is weaker than she'd hoped for, but it's evidence of how she’s changing the role of House Speaker by building consensus. Pelosi spent months meeting face-to-face with House members before rolling out her bill, causing House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) to say, "She has the ability like the local priest to listen." But for all her ability to build bridges, and despite completing the Herculean task of marshaling support for a health-care bill, she's not very popular. Senate Democrats have called her "she who would be queen"—and her poll numbers aren't great: Women tip against her, 36 percent to 31 percent, while men disapprove of her by a 2 to 1 margin.