The Chris Voss Show Podcast – Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power by Susan Page

Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power by Susan Page

The definitive biography of Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful woman in American political history, written by New York Times bestselling author and USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page.

Featuring more than 150 exclusive interviews with those who know her best—and a series of in-depth, news-making interviews with Pelosi herself—MADAM SPEAKER is unprecedented in the scope of its exploration of Nancy Pelosi’s remarkable life and of her indelible impact on American politics.

Before she was Nancy Pelosi, she was Nancy D’Alesandro. Her father was a big-city mayor and her mother his political organizer; when she encour­aged her young daughter to become a nun, Nancy told her mother that being a priest sounded more appealing. She didn’t begin running for office until she was forty-six years old, her five children mostly out of the nest. With that, she found her calling.

Nancy Pelosi has lived on the cutting edge of the revolution in both women’s roles and in the nation’s movement to a fiercer and more polarized politics. She has established herself as a crucial friend or for­midable foe to U.S. presidents, a master legislator, and an indefatigable political warrior. She took on the Democratic establishment to become the first female Speaker of the House, then battled rivals on the left and right to consolidate her power. She has soared in the sharp-edged inside game of politics, though she has struggled in the outside game—demonized by conservatives, second-guessed by progressives, and routinely underestimated by nearly everyone.

All of this was preparation for the most historic challenge she would ever face, at a time she had been privately planning her retirement. When Donald Trump was elected to the White House, Nancy Pelosi became the Democratic counterpart best able to stand up to the disruptive president and to get under his skin. The battle between Trump and Pelosi, chronicled in this book with behind-the-scenes details and revelations, stands to be the titanic political struggle of our time.

Susan Page is the Washington Bureau chief of USA TODAY, where she writes about the White House and national politics. She is the author of Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Arc of Power, a biography being published in April 2021. She also wrote The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty, a New York Times bestseller published in 2019.

Susan has covered eleven presidential elections, from 1980 through 2020, and is now covering her seventh presidential administration. She has interviewed the past ten presidents, from Richard Nixon through Joe Biden, and reported from six continents and dozens of foreign countries. As a reporter — first for Newsday and then for USA TODAY — she drove to Three Mile Island hours after the nuclear mishap was reported, traveled across Southeast Asia to chronicle the exodus of Vietnamese ‘boat people,’ and interviewed physicist Stephen Hawking through his computerized ‘voice.’

She has won every journalism award given specifically for coverage of the White House, including the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency, the Aldo Beckman Award for Overall Excellence in White House Coverage, and the Merriman Smith Award for Excellence in Presidential News Coverage Under Deadline Pressure. She has served as president of the White House Correspondents Association and as president of the Gridiron Club, the oldest association of journalists in Washington. She was the moderator of the vice-presidential debate in 2020 between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris.

A native of Wichita, Kansas, she received a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, where she was editor-in-chief of The Daily Northwestern. She received a master’s degree from Columbia University, where she was a Pulitzer Fellow. She is married to Carl Leubsdorf, a columnist with The Dallas Morning News. They have two sons, Ben and Will.