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Nora Ephron tries to draw out Nancy Pelosi at Fortune's "Most Powerful Women Summit"


Nora Ephron and Nancy Pelosi gabbing at Fortune's "Most Powerful Women Summit" (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Nancy Pelosi! -- a history-making speaker of the House, the most powerful woman in America ... but not the most hilarious after-dinner speaker in town, to put it gently. Understandable: Raunchy jokes don't help a gal crack glass ceilings. But could a tete-a-tete with a witty writer, known for punching up scripts, loosen her up? Seated opposite Pelosi onstage at the Mandarin Oriental hotel Monday, Nora Ephron gave it a shot.

"How do you feel," Ephron purred, "about being called 'Madame Speaker'?"

Pelosi beamed, took a second. "It feels great!"

All righty, then.

The occasion was the opening-night dinner of Fortune magazine's Most Powerful Women Summit, a three-day estrogen-flavored wonkfest: Geena Davis lecturing the female execs and entrepreneurs on gender in media, Melody Barnes and Michelle Rhee holding forth on education, Trudie Styler teaching 6 a.m. yoga. There were artisanal chocolates, and pretty beaded lanyards for the name tags. President Obama spoke to the group Tuesday night.

Ephron said she and Pelosi "have a few things in common -- a jacket we both bought at the same time. And we both married Italian men." She praised the mother of five for teaching her kids how to fold laundry. ("The discipline, the focus," Pelosi agreed. "It was preparation for something.") The speaker said she asked her then-teenage daughter Alexandra for permission to run for Congress; yes, said Alexandra, "get a life."

How do you deal with personal attacks, Ephron asked? Pelosi lit up: "If we had not been effective in passing health reform [blah blah] ... consumer protections [blah blah] ... college loans [total stump speech] ... I view it as the highest compliment that they want to take me down."

What about all the media focus on her looks? Pelosi sighed: How long, she asked, until we stop focusing on a woman's appearance? Ephron gazed at her. "You do have really great hair," she said. "And people talk about it. They do. It's okay."

By The Reliable Source  | October 6, 2010; 1:05 AM ET
Categories:  Politics  
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Comments

Wow, Geena Davis and Trudie Styler, sounds like a real power fest. Geena is an actress and Trudy is the wife of a musician. Come on, if you want a serious power fest, invite some of the thousands of woman who've worked their butts off and really accomplished something, like pioneering doctors, researchers, or business women. Nancy Pelosi is a good start. I would not be interested in advice from Trudie Styler... yawn. Who's up for next year, the best apple pie maker?

Posted by: harding68 | October 6, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Hypocrisy, Teabagger Republican-Style

Crazy Sharron Angle a few days ago:

“The Republicans have lost their standard, they’ve lost their principle," she tells Ashjian. "Really that’s why the machine in the Republican Party is fighting against me...."

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1010/Angle_fundraising_at_NRSC_HQ_Wednesday.html?showall


Meanwhile, back in the real world.

Later today, the machine known as the National Republican Senatorial Committee is holding a "Luncheon Honoring Sharron Angle," where, for up to $5,000 a pop, people can rub elbows with that unprincipled machine ... and Sharron Angle.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1010/Angle_fundraising_at_NRSC_HQ_Wednesday.html?showall

.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 6, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

America do not be deceived 2010 is only the first national election that the Tea Party Patriots as a group gets to cast ballots. Republicans and Democrats will start to see the results of angering the whole country.

Posted by: phjesuswarrior7 | October 6, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Government creates NOTHING. It is a parasite feeding on the private economy. The American electorate will begin limiting it's functions on November 2nd, so that the parasite will not continue to grow and endanger the health of its host - the American Taxpayer.

Liberals have steadfastly refused to recognize the limits of the federal government. Now change is necessary to encourage free enterprise, private entrepreneurship, and self-reliance in our citizens. Obama said he wanted a "Transparent" Government. Yet, it has become "Transparently" clear what this Administration has done is wrecking health care, destroying our industry and level us all into a post industrial European socialism. The recession continues unabated and double digit unemployment continues. It is government growth and policies that the American people came to recognize as inane, costly and unwanted - And all the class warfare in the world will not disguise it.

The new reality under Obama is that more and more of us are laid off and about to lose our homes with only a memory of how hard families worked to build their lives only to be considered "the rich" ready for Liberals to rob. All of it now destroyed by a government that has ruined the economy with taxation and inane spending.

Americans are enraged at the socialistic policies of this Administration, particularly Obamacare "The afordable care act" with an initial taxpayer cost of $1.4 Trillion and premiums rising 30 to 40 percent! Obamacare doesn't even begin until 2014 - two years after Obama has been voted out; but all Americans must pay taxes on it already. Next year the price goes up and gets worse every single year - just like the Post Office.

If Obama had been wiser he would have focused on serving the American Citizen Taxpayers and not pillaging them; instead he launched into "changing" everything and doing such a lousy job that he lost the public trust. After November 2nd, America will only hear Obama whine about his new role as "victim" rather than correct his abysmal leadership.

November can't come soon enough!

Posted by: 2012frank | October 6, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

2012 Frank....get a life and step away from the computer, sir you have been drinking way to much...tea or kool aid, me thinks you protest to much...and me thinks you are an idiot....

Posted by: janetmramos | October 6, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

2012 frank you rock and janetmramos you need to geta life of your own. This is America where even you janet can become one of the evil rich that I have no doubt you despize for reasons only a lazy sheep would understand. Take a minute and think about how great it would be to have enough money to do the things love and for the people you love and then think about how You would go about getting it, from our Government who cant even balance a budget or proudly from the fruits of Your labor.

Posted by: nardnose | October 6, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

So, 2012frank and nardnose (?), here's the one question you folks never answer: what are you going to cut? What are you going to eliminate to rid us of our "lazy sheep?"
Social Security?
Medicare?
Dept. of Education?
Dept. of Energy?
Environmental Protection Agency?
Health and Human Services?
Labor Dept.?
Housing Dept.?
Food and Drug Administration?
Dept. of Agriculture?
How about a little hacking and hewing at the Dept. of Defense?
FAA?
FCC?
Highway Administration?
Occupational Health and Safety Administration?
National Parks?

Please feel free to check off as many as you want, and add others. Then see how many idiots you can get to agree with you.

Posted by: babsnjer | October 6, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if 2012frank and nardnose are among the “rich” that they so admire. I suppose if they are not and possibly losing their homes, it’s just because they haven’t worked hard enough. The recession hasn’t hurt the rich at all, especially the richest people around who are on Wall Street. And, what does Wall Street create? NOTHING! So, if you boys are rich, quit your bitchin’. And, if you are poor, stop blaming the government and get off your lazy butts!

Posted by: blzebub23 | October 6, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse


What is it about these old white mush mouthed GOP types who cannot stand having a Black president and a competant woman speaker? It just rattles their world so badly, it's all turned upside down! Guess what guys, it's the 21st century and the "youngers" think your woman-hating, racism and homphobia are really dumb!!

Posted by: littledog | October 6, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

It's good that our country has reached the point where someone other than a white male can be President or Speaker of the House. However, the people in those positions are supposed to act on behalf of the people they represent, doing things "for" the people instead of "to" the people. Hopefully, this symposium includes discussions on how to lead by example, rather than by intimidation or decree.

As for the poster asking which government programs should be eliminated, all of those listed probably have plenty of redundancy, vendors/recipients engaged in fraud, and unnecessarily expensive purchases. If each agency is scrutinized to remove those factors and to ensure that only those eligible (U.S. citizens, people with legitimate diplomas, etc.) are receiving benefits and employment through those agencies, the people working for them will be more effective, the country will be in better shape, and there will be more opportunities for both women and men to use their power appropriately.

Posted by: Voter4Integrity | October 7, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

"artisanal" ??? Puleeze! Was some copy editor asleep?

Posted by: paulchouinard | October 7, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

funny how those in favour of the continued destuctional path of the democrats seen so full of hate that the reject any life saving redriction or advice ,, such a sad bunch of self-destuctionist . i support impeachment i know it is nessasary not because obama is only half black but because he is a threat to this nations peace and security not to mention he is perpetrating a fruad worthy of a charge of treason ,, mrs pelosi are you man enought to adress this , no because you have a different kind of brown on your nose kinda matches that of mr.o's excriment

Posted by: sinnersunited | October 7, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

funny how those in favour of the continued destuctional path of the democrats seen so full of hate that the reject any life saving redriction or advice ,, such a sad bunch of self-destuctionist . i support impeachment i know it is nessasary not because obama is only half black but because he is a threat to this nations peace and security not to mention he is perpetrating a fruad worthy of a charge of treason ,, mrs pelosi are you man enought to adress this , no because you have a different kind of brown on your nose kinda matches that of mr.o's excriment

Posted by: sinnersunited | October 7, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

funny how those in favour of the continued destuctional path of the democrats seen so full of hate that the reject any life saving redriction or advice ,, such a sad bunch of self-destuctionist . i support impeachment i know it is nessasary not because obama is only half black but because he is a threat to this nations peace and security not to mention he is perpetrating a fruad worthy of a charge of treason ,, mrs pelosi are you man enought to adress this , no because you have a different kind of brown on your nose kinda matches that of mr.o's excriment

Posted by: sinnersunited | October 7, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

funny how semiliterates post in multiples...

Posted by: blzebub23 | October 7, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm disgusted with those who flavor their post with nonsense. Impeach President Obama? He fought for health care reform and provided much needed government support for an economy where big business is hoarding billions and the financial sector is raping our national wealth. Where was your impeachment fervor when Bush was misinforming the American people into supporting his endless wars?

Posted by: Mathmn | October 7, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm an American, and I'm not "enraged" over President Obama's attempts to stimulate our economy. Some people have a "Seven Days in May" approach to politics. That's not the American way.

Posted by: Mathmn | October 7, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

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