Obama Praises Nancy Pelosi’s Leadership Ahead of House Democrats’ Vote for Speaker Nominee

November 20, 2018, 9:57 PM UTC

Former President Barack Obama praised the leadership of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Tuesday, just a week before the Democratic representatives will decide whether or not to nominate the party’s longtime figurehead for speaker of the House.

“Nancy is not always the best on a cable show or with a quick soundbite or what have you,” said Obama, speaking at a live taping of “The Axe Files” podcast, CNN reports. “But her skill, tenacity, toughness, vision, is remarkable. Her stamina, her ability to see around corners, her ability to stand her ground and do hard things and to suffer unpopularity to get the right thing done, I think, stands up against any person that I’ve observed or worked directly with in Washington during my lifetime.”

Pelosi previously served as speaker of the House in 2007 to 2011—the first woman to hold the position. Since then, she’s worked as House Minority Leader. With the Democrats regaining the House majority in the 2018 midterms, however, Pelosi has another shot at speaker this January.

Some Democrats are calling for a change: 16 representatives have signed a letter vowing to oppose Pelosi’s bid for speaker; two others didn’t sign the letter, but said they would not vote for her.

Still, Pelosi has a strong resume. She was vital in getting Obamacare passed, and on “The Axe Files” Tuesday, Obama said she was an “extraordinary partner” when he was president.

Current President Donald Trump has been less kind with his words, but did praise Pelosi’s leadership following the midterms, when the Minority Leader called for bipartisanship. Pelosi has been openly critical of Trump—once calling him “a very dangerous man“—but has long been skilled at bringing people together, at least within her own caucus.

“I think Nancy Pelosi, when the history is written, will go down as one of the most effective legislative leaders that this country’s ever seen,” said Obama.

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