The story begins 20 years ago. Roz Wyman, who had chaired the Democratic Convention in San Francisco in ’84, was lunching in L.A. at Hillcrest with her friend, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, the Convention’s Host Committee Chairman. Wyman button-holed William Morris’ Norman Brokaw as he walked by and she told him Pelosi was someone to watch. Brokaw agreed and was impressed. She was not only a Congresswoman but the mother of four. He also saw a potential book (and client?) in Pelosi. He gave her one piece of advice: “Take notes, take notes.” She did.
Pelosi, now the grandmother of seven and married to Paul P. for 45 years, has written “Know Your Power” (Doubleday — with Amy Hill Hearth). Wyman and Brokaw decided to host a conversation — and book-signing event with Pelosi last Saturday night. It was to have been at Brokaw’s Beverly Hills home — but the response was so large, and the threat of rain imminent — they moved to the Olympic Ballroom of the Century Plaza hotel. Before speaking to the group, I asked the very warm, affable and outgoing Pelosi if this book — “A Message To America’s Mothers,” is only her first book. Indeed it is, and the follow-up will be about the world of government, where she has received the highest recogntion ever for a woman as Speaker of the House.
When first approached to run for Congress. she admitted she asked her then-teenage daughter for advice. “It’s up to you,” Nancy told her oldest. The response was immediate. “Mother! Get a life!” She certainly has. Pilosi writes, “I consider my involvement in politics as an extension of my role as a mom.” In addition to talking about her opportunities, she emphasized the importance of recognizing and utilizing power. She pulls no punches in relating her disagreements with the President on the eve of — and following — his declaration of war. She continues her stance and promises to continue to do so until the very end of Bush’s term. As for the future, she spoke enthusiastically about the new administration and its plans in all fields — of which she has always been a supporter. And — she’ll take notes.