>> Nancy Pelosi grew up in a household where power was like electricity and running water.
>> NARRATOR: The first documentary on the life and legacy... >> Nancy Pelosi came up in a historical era where you did see politics as combat.
>> NARRATOR: Of the most powerful women in American politics... >> She’s got this no-holds-barred attitude and the other side be damned.
>> Nancy Pelosi has never been accused of bringing a knife to a gunfight.
>> NARRATOR: Now on FRONTLINE... >> Madam Speaker... >> NARRATOR: “Pelosi’s Power.” >> (chanting): U.S.A.!
>> This is our (bleep) country!
(people yelling) >> Nancy!
Where you at, Nancy?
>> Tell Nancy Pelosi we're coming for her!
(people yelling) >> Where are you, Nancy?
We're looking for you!
>> (chanting): Nancy!
>> It was like a monster movie or like a horror film.
>> (chanting): Nancy!
>> "Nancy, where's Nancy?"
>> Oh, look what we have here.
>> (chanting): Nancy!
>> That was pretty ominous.
>> Where is she?
>> I knew that we really had a problem.
>> Can I speak to Pelosi?
Yeah, we're coming, bitch!
>> There was an intent to harm in the voices.
>> Check this out, we are inside her, Nancy Pelosi's, office.
>> I ask her if that made her afraid.
Nancy said that they would've had a fight on their hands.
They would've had a battle on their hands, because she's a street fighter.
And then she lifts up her foot.
And, you know, she always wears those four-inch stiletto heels.
And she points at her shoe and says, "Besides, I could've used these as weapons."
♪ ♪ >> National Guard has been called in to the Capitol.
The Capitol is secure now.
>> Tensions are still high following the chaos at the Capitol.
>> Our nation's capital under a state of emergency, under a citywide lockdown... >> Law enforcement has surrounded and secured the U.S. Capitol complex.
>> Nancy understood that it was the defilement of the tabernacle of our democracy.
>> Busloads of National Guards outside the Capitol.
Order has been restored.
The security perimeter has been put back up.
>> Approximately 1,800 troops are deployed around the Capitol perimeter to prevent any more violence.
>> There is, to her, a real sacredness to it.
>> And everything that she knows in life... ...January 6 upended.
That a president of the United States is responsible for an insurrection.
(cameras clicking) >> Good afternoon.
My friends, we are in a very difficult place in our country as long as Donald Trump still sits in the White House.
>> She really saw him as so reckless and dangerous.
It was such a white-knuckle moment.
Whatever the rules said, you just had to hold down the fort and make sure this thing didn't get further out of hand.
(phone calling out) >> NARRATOR: Alarmed, Pelosi called the top general at the Pentagon, Mark Milley.
>> Unexpectedly, Milley's executive officer came into the office and passed him a handwritten note: "Speaker Pelosi would like to speak to you A.S.A.P."
>> When you read that transcript, you're taken into a moment of pure crisis in American history.
It is an amazing historical moment to be in on the call with Pelosi and Milley.
>> "What precautions are available," Pelosi asked, "to prevent an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or from accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike?"
>> Pelosi, at her core, is a realist.
She believes the country needs to be protected.
She was going to do something.
>> "He's crazy and what he did yesterday is further evidence of his craziness."
"Madam Speaker, " Milley said, "I agree with you on everything."
♪ ♪ >> Pelosi takes charge.
She goes to Schumer and she says, "We need to get Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment."
>> We thought he didn't belong as president.
And so our goal was to reach the vice president and ask him to invoke the 25th Amendment, which allows the Cabinet to replace the president under dire circumstances.
This was dire.
(phone calling out) >> And they call up Pence.
The phone rings and rings.
>> We asked for the vice president.
We were waiting there for 20 minutes on the phone.
>> Pence won't take the call.
(busy signal buzzes, phone hangs up) >> Our thoughts were, the vice president was scared and ducking it and not living up to his responsibility.
>> Pelosi turns to Schumer and says, "If he's not going to take this call, we need to move toward impeachment."
>> There was a total void of leadership in our country at that moment.
Nancy Pelosi was the one leading the country in that moment.
She had to be the one dealing with this crisis.
And that's what she did.
>> She found herself in a singular position of power, with a singular responsibility at this crucial and dangerous moment.
And that was not an accident.
That was a long time coming.
>> NARRATOR: Nancy Pelosi, the first woman speaker of the House, second in line to the presidency, at a perilous time, the most powerful woman in American politics.
>> You really have to start with who she is.
She grew up in the rough and tumble of Baltimore politics, where her father was mayor.
So she's a very down-to-earth politician.
And she's very tough.
She's very pragmatic in a lot of ways.
But she's very determined.
She can be very magnetic and the sort of person you naturally perceive as a leader.
And that people are willing to follow.
>> Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
>> Good drink, good meat, good God, let's eat.
>> We cannot wait ten years.
AIDS patients don't have enough time to live.
>> With revelations that his wife, Tammy, was addicted to prescription drugs.... >> Here in San Francisco, the Democrat Nancy Pelosi defeated Harry Britt, a city supervisor who is gay.
Pelosi is now favored to win a June runoff election against a Republican challenger.
>> ...the Honorable Nancy Pelosi would raise her right hand... Do you solemnly swear... >> When she arrived in Congress in 1987, there were 23 women in the 435-member House of Representatives.
>> That's a very, very, very small group.
Easy to get talked over.
Easy to get ignored.
Easy to get second-guessed and one-upped all the time.
That's just the nature of it.
>> So help you God?
>> I do.
>> You are a member of the House of Representatives.
(cheers and applause) >> First time I met Nancy Pelosi, she had just won an election, I think it was a special election, in San Francisco.
♪ ♪ We had a little dinner group, ten or 12.
And we'd go to dinner Tuesday night, usually at an Italian restaurant.
♪ ♪ >> They called it the Gang.
And Tuesday nights, they would always have dinner, all kinds of conversations.
>> On Tuesday evenings, I would often have dinner with a group of members of Congress.
The men never turned and asked, "What do you think?"
>> They would talk right over you.
Talk right over you, and there is that famous conversation of, of the guys talking about when their children were born and how difficult it was for them.
(laughs): So, Nancy remembers it well.
>> All the men were discussing their experiences with childbirth.
Meanwhile, we women were sort of elbowing each other, trying not to laugh.
We were all thinking, "Well, now surely they'll ask us."
It never happened.
11 child births among us, and not once did it occur to the men that we might have something to contribute on the subject.
>> When you think of the entrenched paternalism and crude sexism... ...that's what she came into, a totally paternalistic society with a lot of crudeness.
>> NARRATOR: Nancy Pelosi was used to being surrounded by men.
She grew up the only girl among five brothers and a powerful father, the newly elected mayor of Baltimore.
>> When her father won that first election for mayor of Baltimore, they had a family portrait painted of victory night.
At the center of the portrait is not her father, the mayor, or her mother or any of her brothers.
They're all in dark clothes.
She's in this, like, iridescent white dress.
>> Nancy was the baby.
And the only girl.
So she was extraordinarily special.
>> She's on the front page of the newspaper the day after she's born.
"It's a girl for the D'Alesandros" is the headline after, you know, they'd had five boys.
So there's never a time when she's not in the spotlight.
>> NARRATOR: The woman she would become had a lot to do with her mother.
She was known as Big Nancy.
>> She sees her mother being thwarted.
Her mother, who, her whole life, wanted to go to law school and never could, and who wanted to buy some property in Ocean City, Maryland, and her husband wouldn't let her.
So her mother was this restless and in some ways unsatisfied person.
>> My grandmother was a tour de force behind the scenes.
She was, in some ways, the tough one behind the scenes so that my grandfather could be more gregarious out in person.
>> For women raised in Pelosi's generation, the message was that the highest thing you could aspire to, and should aspire to, was married motherhood, right?
And that wanting anything besides motherhood was a kind of violation of feminine expectation.
>> So when my mother wanted to go to Washington, D.C., for college, my grandfather said, "No, over my dead body," and my grandmother apparently said, "Tom, that can be arranged."
So my mother went off to college in Washington, D.C. >> And then she met Paul Pelosi, and when he asked her to marry him, she said yes.
And so, that was sort of it in those days.
You got married and you followed your husband and you started having babies.
He pursued a career in finance and moves to San Francisco.
>> She was happy to fall in love with Paul Pelosi and to have five children in six years.
Which, as she says, is a pretty remarkable feat.
She called it "the Catholic Way."
(film projector clicking) ♪ ♪ >> ♪ You've come a long way, baby ♪ >> Introducing new Virginia Slims, the slim cigarette for women only.
>> I stand before you today as a candidate for the presidency of the United States of America.
>> Live from the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, the tennis battle of the sexes, Billie Jean King versus Bobby Riggs.
>> Abajo, down with sexism, abajo!
Sí, se puede, sí, se puede!
>> Fear must not deter us now, for the Equal Rights Amendment represents the highest American ideal.
>> By our choice, our next vice president, Geraldine Ferraro.
>> In that period, Nancy Pelosi never lost her interest in politics.
Through the years in which she was having babies and raising them as a stay-at-home mother.
She described on Halloween going with the stroller brigade, pamphleting apartments.
>> Wherever there was a meeting of Democratic Party officials, at a barbecue or a fundraiser or a veterans' parade, we were there, all five of us, loaded up in the car and my mom driving us around.
So she was the key volunteer.
>> NARRATOR: In 1987, with the kids grown, an opportunity-- an open Congressional seat.
She'd follow in her father's footsteps, run for office.
>> Just one thing you need to know about Nancy.
Nancy is more D'Alesandro than she is Pelosi.
And she's always her father's daughter.
♪ ♪ >> Nancy Pelosi is more comfortable with power than any other person I've ever covered.
She grew up in a household where power was like electricity and running water.
From the day she was born, she was in a family that was accustomed to seeking power, holding power, and using power.
And it's in, it's in her bones.
>> I asked her once, "Well, what'd you learn from your father?"
She didn't hesitate, she said, "I learned how to count."
She was trained at the ward level about how to count votes, how to get votes, and how to produce a result.
>> She was also, from an early age, involved in the favor file that was kept in the parlor of their rowhouse on Albemarle Street.
>> In their house, when someone would knock on the door, my mom, from a very young age, would know how to get somebody a hot meal, a job, how to get somebody in jail or out of jail, depending on the circumstance.
>> And then their name would be kept on file for when the next election came around and the mayor needed a favor in return.
So she was in charge of that from the time she was about 11.
>> And when she decided in 1987 to run for this Congressional seat, she was taking the role her father had played as a candidate herself.
♪ ♪ She believed from her years watching her father get elected, the campaign was won on the ground.
>> We have a masterful organization plan.
>> That it was the work you did block by block.
>> We were attempting to reach 15,000 people by the end of this weekend.
>> Finding your volunteers.
>> Can I tell you a little bit about Nancy Pelosi?
>> Finding each individual voter.
>> How are you?
I'm Nancy Pelosi, I'm running for Congress.
>> I remember her brother Tommy flying out to San Francisco because her mother and father wanted to know how the campaign was going.
>> Nancy, good morning!
>> So he came out.
He surveyed everything.
He went home and reported to his mother and father that she had a superb ground operation.
And superb it was.
(cheers and applause) >> Join me and the president in working for fundamental change in America's healthcare system.
♪ ♪ >> Hello!
>> (cheering) >> I felt I had a duty to report.
I have no personal vendetta against Clarence Thomas.
>> I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.
>> I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.
>> (cheering) >> The Democrats make a little history of their own by voting for Nancy Pelosi of California, the first female party leader ever.
>> Pelosi has spent her 15 years in the House crusading for liberal causes: abortion rights, AIDS funding, the environment.
And Pelosi's supporters say having her at the top of the party will energize women voters who are key to Democratic victory.
>> She truly believed that that old generation of bulls, of white dudes automatically entitled to become the whip, the leader, the speaker...
Enough of that, that that just represented a different time in American history.
It was her time.
>> And at age 62, Nancy Pelosi reveled in making history.
>> I'm not finished yet.
(laughing) I've been waiting over 200 years!
>> For Pelosi, winning the leader's race could be the easy part.
Then she'll try to unite a party that's in disarray.
>> NARRATOR: By 2006, the Democrats had lost six Congressional elections in a row.
As minority leader, Pelosi was determined to change that.
>> One thing that Nancy Pelosi has never been accused of is, like, bringing a knife to a gunfight.
If the game is everybody to their corners, then we're going to play that game, and we're going to win that game.
>> Nancy Pelosi came up in a historical era where you increasingly did see politics as combat.
So she always said, you know, "Every morning, I put on a suit of armor, eat nails for breakfast, and go out and do battle."
>> NARRATOR: To help lead the battle to win back the House, she elevated a brash young congressman, Rahm Emanuel.
>> I was her wing man, and it was about winning.
That was what we were about.
It was about taking the majority and winning.
I said, "To do this, I'm going to have to push in a way that is going to ruffle a lot of people."
She goes, "That's why I'm selecting you."
>> It was absolutely a brilliant thing to do, because Rahm is a heatseeking missile.
Much like Pelosi, when he gets a target in his mind, he's relentless.
♪ ♪ >> She was making procedural changes to the way that the caucus operated in order to enforce more party unity, in order to get the Democrats more unified.
>> Pelosi's blunt style is polarizing, but she's used it to pull off something nobody thought was possible: organizing the congressional Democrats.
Under her leadership, they voted as a block against the Republicans almost 90% of the time.
>> It was kind of shocking, actually, for Pelosi, early on in her tenure as a leader, to go to Democratic members and ream them out, to chide them for co-sponsoring bills with members of the other party.
>> Nancy Pelosi sent the word out to her members that they shouldn't be cooperating at all with the other side, just like she didn't.
Because they didn't want to give our members any shot at claiming legislative victories in the political game.
She's a no-holds-barred politician that was about partisan warfare 100% of the time.
Rahm Emanuel helped put down steroids for her on the floor of the House.
>> You have called your Republican colleagues... >> Right.
>> ...immoral, corrupt, you say they're running a criminal enterprise.
>> Well, actually, when I called them those names, I was being gentle.
There are much worse things I could have said about them.
>> She learned her politics in Baltimore.
Republicans were irrelevant.
You do not need to worry about the Republican Party in Baltimore.
Then she moves to San Francisco.
You don't need to worry about Republicans very much if you're going to be a politician in San Francisco.
It is a Democratic game.
>> NARRATOR: When it came to Republicans in Washington, she saw a stark clash of values, as she made clear in interviews with "Frontline" over the years.
>> Well, I think I should say something about the right-wing, ideological, anti-government attitude of the Republicans.
Clean air, clean water, food safety, public safety, public education, public health, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security-- they do not believe in the public role.
They don't-- bless their hearts, they do what they believe.
They act upon their beliefs, and they do not believe in this.
>> NARRATOR: But she needed more to beat the Republicans in the 2006 midterms.
She found it in Bush's Iraq War, a war she'd opposed from the beginning.
>> It's the final word-- Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction.
>> The United States' invasion of Iraq is proving to be a Pandora's box.
Now, adding to the crisis of credibility, allegations of torture.
(explosion echoing) >> The daily death toll has risen dramatically over the past year in Baghdad... >> Just how long are U.S. soldiers going to be in the thick of this fight?
(people yelling) >> She concluded early on, based on conversations with some sort of branding experts, that the most important thing to do was drive down Bush's popularity, drive down the Republicans' popularity, cover them in mud.
>> In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.
>> As of today, 736 soldiers have died in Iraq, nearly 600 of them since the president stood before a sign that said "Mission Accomplished."
>> It was very clear that the war was going to become a line of demarcation, and she also saw that this was going to divide the country, and it was better for the Democratic Party to be on the right side of that issue, which was in opposition.
>> The president has dug us into a deep hole in Iraq.
It is time for him to stop digging.
>> She saw early on that the harder she fought, the more attractive she was as a leader for her caucus members, so they could go home and represent to their constituents that they're fighting hard every single day and not giving an inch.
>> The president of the United States says, "Stay the course."
Stay the course?
I don't think so, Mr. President.
It's time to face the facts.
>> She became the face and the symbol of an aggressive, progressive Democratic Party.
She became a talking point on every single talk show because she was the lightning rod.
She was a very polarizing figure.
♪ ♪ >> Greetings and welcome back.
Nancy Pelosi saying that our president is an idiot.
The clown or whatever.
It's just unseemly.
>> Pelosi makes a remarkably rich target for the right wing.
>> Pelosi and her crew have been trying to undermine the troops since we went into Iraq.
>> She is a woman who is challenging the president and the head of the Republican Party.
>> Nancy Pelosi was stalking Bush like she wanted to have an affair.
All these Democrat women wear red on the State of the Union.
Ever wonder what that's all about?
>> Within a capitalist white patriarchy, Nancy Pelosi is a person who is not supposed to have the authority to talk back to the president of the United States during a war, right?
So she is a tremendous threat.
>> The long, 200-year national nightmare without a woman at the top is now over.
This is a triumph of estrogen.
>> She's been brutally demonized-- brutally.
I think that toughens her up.
I think that makes her even tougher.
But I know it must be hard.
>> I think we are now ready to make a major projection.
The Democrats will in fact win control of the House of Representatives.
(cheers and applause) >> One of her modus operandi is basically that you can't do anything unless you win elections, right?
You have to have the power in order to exercise the power.
>> (applauding) >> It's now my privilege to present the gavel of the United States House of Representatives to the first woman speaker in our history, the gentle lady from California, Nancy Pelosi.
>> (cheering and applauding) >> Before we move forward, because there are so many children here, I wanted to invite as many of them who wanted to come forward to come join me up here.
I know my own grandchildren will.
(cheers and applause) Let's hear it for the children!
We're here for the children.
>> (cheering and applauding) >> (laughing) >> She always says that her sort of lodestar is the children, the children, the children.
>> She always talks about her top three priorities, are the children, the children, the children.
>> "Children, children, children, that's why I came to Congress."
>> The children, she always repeats it, the children, the children.
>> (talking in background) >> ...applaud these children again!
>> (applauding) >> She describes loving motherhood.
She describes loving having babies.
But it's also true that Nancy Pelosi has been one of the most powerful women in American politics, right?
There is an attractiveness in presenting yourself as, "I am a mom, I'm the happiest I've ever been as a mom."
>> For these children, our children, and for all of America's children, the House will come to order.
>> (cheering and applauding) >> It's a way of sanding down the edges of, "I'm the most powerful woman you've ever dealt with."
>> The stock market dropped by hundreds of points right from the open.
>> ...stock price dropped 45% Tuesday, after... >> The second-largest financial institution ever to fail.
>> And the number of U.S. banks in danger of failing is rising.
>> Gasoline's up, food prices up, stocks way, way, way, way down... >> A.I.G.
plunging, at one point they were down 70%, now down about 50% on the trading session... >> This is DEFCON Four, whatever.
This was the complete nightmare.
By Wednesday, basically had a complete shutdown of the world capital market.
It's just, no, this is absolute terror.
>> The turmoil in the mortgage market is far from over.
>> Seeing the risks of a recession rising.
Now some say they see one lurking right around the corner.
>> Nancy picked up the phone and called, at that time, Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson.
(phone calling out) And she said, "I'm not comfortable with what I'm reading.
I think that we need to meet."
>> "Can you come to my office tomorrow morning at 9:00 so that you can brief the House Democratic leadership on what's going on and how we can be helpful?"
And he said, "Madam Speaker, tomorrow morning will be too late."
>> On Thursday, late afternoon, we go to Nancy Pelosi's office, and there's a meeting of the senior legislators from both parties, in both House and Senate.
>> Sitting in that room with Hank Paulson saying to us, in a very measured tones-- no hyperbole, no excessive adjectives-- that unless you act, the financial system of this country and the world will melt down in a matter of days.
>> They came in, described a financial meltdown of epic proportions, and when that was finished, the chairman of the Fed said, "If we do not act now, we will not have an economy by Monday."
>> There was, like, this... Everybody was trying to pinch themselves or get the cobwebs out of their eyes.
"What'd you say?"
>> NARRATOR: Paulson wanted $700 billion to bail out Wall Street.
>> The politics of this were very fraught.
They knew people weren't going to like it.
The conservatives hated it.
You're spending all this money, you're meddling with the free market.
The liberals hated it.
You're bailing out George W. Bush, who's done all these irresponsible things and caused this to happen.
Why not make him pay for his mistakes?
>> We're two months before the election not only for a new president, a new Senate, a new House.
If we wanted to, we could have just thrown this at George Bush.
You know, let it collapse on George Bush's watch.
It's two months before the election.
George Bush and the Republicans, let them go, seriously.
>> Good evening.
We just had what I believe was a very productive meeting.
>> Even though they were Republicans, she understood the gravity of the crisis and saw it as a matter of duty, really, and responsibility that transcended partisan politics.
>> Speaker Pelosi told John Boehner, her Republican counterpart, "You're going to have to put up 100 votes and we'll put up the rest."
>> The only way to do it was to sort of hold hands and jump.
This is the sort of classic bipartisan situation where if everybody agrees to do the unpopular thing, no one can be attacked for it.
>> The billion-dollar package to bail out the U.S. financial industry is moving ahead through Congress.
>> The United States Congress is set to vote on the biggest corporate bailout in history.
>> NARRATOR: But Boehner's Republicans were in revolt.
>> There's a bill here, but this drama is not over.
>> NARRATOR: They weren't going to go along with him, President Bush, or Nancy Pelosi.
>> I rise in opposition to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.
>> America, you should be outraged about Washington is about to do.
>> It is an unprecedented and unaffordable and unacceptable expansion of federal power.
>> Please, please don't betray this nation's great history.
>> And then the vote goes down.
And the stock market crashes as it becomes clear that the Congress doesn't have the votes to pass this bailout, and she's watching this happen.
>> They didn't pass it.
>> They did not pass it.
>> And she mutters to herself, "We're finished."
>> And I see that the Dow traders are standing there watching in amazement, and I don't blame them.
>> The Dow is now down 697... >> Traders say this is the craziest day they have ever seen.
>> The lesson is, you could only depend on your own votes.
You can only depend on your own votes.
If somebody says they're delivering other people, you can't trust that.
You have to have what Nancy Pelosi calls the Speaker's secret whip list that she won't reveal to anyone.
>> That experience where a Republican president and a Republican leader cannot deliver the votes to rescue the country from economic abyss was a turning point.
If she was going to lead, she was going to have to do it by herself.
She couldn't count on her colleagues, particularly in the Republican caucus, to deliver.
>> NARRATOR: Pelosi went back to work, using her power to persuade enough Democrats to help pass the bill and bail out the banks.
>> The financial crisis probably was seminal in her development as a leader.
She watched the evolution of the Republican caucus, and watched as it became more difficult to deal with and more willing to grandstand for the Republican base.
She had very little patience for that.
>> (speaking indistinctly) >> (yelling) >> Yeah, so what if the guy threw a shoe at me?
>> It's an ugly little world up there in Washington, isn't it?
It's not fun.
>> But it's not for the faint of heart to be there.
It's a rough... >> What happens when you see a guy from the other side and you guys look at each other and, you ever, like, walk up to somebody, just be, like, "Let's go outside, my brother, let's take this thing"?
>> No, just right there, I go, pow!
>> I love those hockey moms.
You know, they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull?
>> (laughing and applauding) >> Now Barack Obama takes the reins of government with Democrats also in charge of Congress by, as we've just seen, a hefty majority.
>> Democrats holding big majorities in both the House and Senate.
>> That means when Democrats are united, Republicans will be powerless to stop them.
>> Madam Speaker.
The president of the United States.
>> (cheering and applauding) >> We all remember Obama said, "We're not a red America or a blue America, we're one America.
We're the United States of America," and that was the campaign he ran.
"Let's turn the page on this ugly chapter of purely partisan politics, let's try to bring the country together and unify the country."
>> Madam Speaker.
Mr. Vice President.
Members of Congress.
What is required now is for this country to pull together, confront boldly the challenges we face, and take responsibility for our future once more.
>> NARRATOR: The test case for bipartisanship-- healthcare reform.
>> We can no longer afford to put healthcare reform on hold.
We can't afford to do it.
>> (applauding) >> It's time.
>> NARRATOR: He could do it without Republicans, but he wanted to win them over.
Nancy Pelosi knew better.
♪ ♪ >> It was clear that she believed that he was naïve.
It was clear that she believed that he was too trusting, too confident.
And she was telling him, "These Republicans aren't going to help you."
>> She had spent years in the hothouse of Washington politics as it became more and more and more partisan.
So her expectations were low.
>> NARRATOR: The new president courted one Republican after another.
>> Obama believed that if you were going to do healthcare, which was a major social policy, it was better to have bipartisanship for its legitimacy.
>> Nancy knew better than he did at that point.
I mean, she had been so conditioned by that time that you couldn't trust them.
They couldn't keep their word.
Why are you going down this path when we know that they cannot be trusted?
>> The Republicans were very clever in what they did.
They pretended that they were interested in this.
I call it the dance of the seven veils.
I'm going to be there, and then I'm not, and then I'm going to be there, then I'm not.
Now you see it, now you don't.
Could I have two more weeks, three more weeks?
Hanukkah, you know, every holiday, Halloween, Thanksgiving.
But it was a tactic and a successful one on the part of the Republicans.
>> She was so determined to keep Republicans out of the process and so emotionally negative.
It wasn't Obama's approach that turned them off; it was actually Nancy Pelosi's approach.
>> So at that point, the White House was following what Nancy Pelosi wanted to do and jamming everything they wanted.
They weren't getting our help.
>> When Obama would give on some issue, she immediately spoke up, "We're not doing that.
That's not coming out of the House."
Every time that he would say, "I'm reaching out to Republicans," she would publicly say, “No, we aren't."
>> And Republicans were very angry and they were very bitter about it.
But the reality was, they weren't going to work with her.
There were no Republicans that were going to ultimately support this.
>> NARRATOR: Across America, that anger was exploding.
>> God will take care of healthcare.
>> You dirty thieves!
>> The whole point of this is to get everybody enrolled in the government healthcare plan.
>> You've got a plan that increases deficit spending when we already have trillion- dollar deficits.
>> Radical communists and socialists!
>> That something is not right with the healthcare plan.
>> We now have leftist radicals in charge of your healthcare decisions rather than doctors.
We're hanging by a thread.
>> Democrat or Republican, for whoever senator or congressman vote for this bill, we will vote you out!
>> There's a bill out of the House of Representatives, put together under Speaker Pelosi's leadership.
I'm, I'm, uh... >> (booing) >> I'm, uh, I would not vote for that, there... >> (applauding) >> NARRATOR: With public opinion turning, back in Washington, healthcare reform was now imploding, even among Democrats.
Pelosi headed for the White House.
>> The political advisers within the White House, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, thought, "It's time to cut our losses, get something small done so we can kind of save face."
>> And Nancy Pelosi says, "Wait a second, we've been trying this for a generation.
No, we're not going to do that.
We're going to do what we set out to do.
And we're going to do as much as we set out to do."
>> It was really in this climactic meeting where she said, in front of everyone, "Mr. President, I know there are people telling you to take the namby-pamby approach.
I'm here to tell you, we can still get this done."
>> She basically said to Obama, "You can go big and I can tell you I can deliver this, or you can go small and you can do it yourself."
>> Nancy Pelosi, in being the first woman to be speaker of the House, wants to remind the Obama White House that she has the power to get big things done.
>> We'll go through the gate.
If the gate's closed, we'll go over the fence.
If the fence is too high, we'll pole-vault in.
If that doesn't work, we'll parachute in.
But we're going to get healthcare reform passed for the American people.
>> When Nancy Pelosi says, "Okay, the ball's at the five- yard line, I am not going to blink on all of this," it took Republicans by surprise in, clearly she was the driving force, not the sitting president of the United States.
>> NARRATOR: Once again, as with the bailout, she exercised her power to lock down Democratic votes.
>> She understands that sometimes she has to muscle lawmakers.
She understands that working with Democrats means that she has to sort of twist arms and really get people to get on the same page by, by force.
>> When I would walk into her office, there'd be chocolates on a table in front of you, from her beloved Ghirardelli, which is a chocolate manufacturer in her district.
But there'd also be a stack of baseball bats signed by the San Francisco Giants.
The message was: we can do this the sweet and easy way or we can do this the hard way.
But we will do it.
>> NARRATOR: For Pelosi, the time for bipartisanship with Republicans was over.
>> It's a huge piece of legislation, and it is extremely unusual that not a single Republican in the House or the Senate ultimately voted for the healthcare bill.
>> The Democrats' healthcare overhaul, finally, a series of votes last night put it over the top.
>> 219 to 212, no votes from Republicans.
>> All Democrats, no Republicans.
>> We are done.
>> (cheering and applauding) >> I'm pretty confident I'm speaking for the president.
From the White House perspective, there would not have been a bill with the president's signature if Nancy Pelosi wasn't the speaker of the House.
>> (chanting): Nancy!
>> One of the extraordinary things about Nancy Pelosi is that she can be aggressively partisan, but also willing to say, "I'm going to do this even if it may cost me an election."
She literally put her speakership on the line by pushing through Obamacare.
>> Once, Nancy Pelosi was safely confined to liberal San Francisco.
>> When I would go to dinner with House Republicans in 2009- 2010, they would tell me they wanted to make Pelosi a villain.
>> Pelosi has grown into a power-hungry Goliath... >> "Let's make her the target for the 2010 midterms."
>> Who can save America?
You, the Pennsylvania voter.
Vote May 18, the day we fight back.
>> That's our goal: make Pelosi the enemy.
>> Want to put the brakes on Pelosi?
Vote against Roy Herron.
>> To stop Nancy Pelosi, you have to replace Gene Taylor.
>> Politics is about personality.
>> Instead of working for us, he's working for Nancy Pelosi.
>> It's also about fear.
>> Don't let Chad Causey and Nancy Pelosi play games with our money.
>> And it's about galvanizing people and getting people excited about something.
>> Annie Kuster-- isn't one Nancy Pelosi enough?
>> Ben Chandler, Pelosi's lap dog.
>> So on the Republican side, you have this real effort, this coordinated effort, to really make House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a villain.
>> Job number one, fire Nancy Pelosi.
That oughta be job number one.
>> Let's face it, Nancy Pelosi is one of the most unpopular political figures across the spectrum.
>> Democratic Party will be destroyed-- destroyed-- if it embraces Mrs. Pelosi's vision.
>> Number one, she was a woman.
>> I don't want Pelosi making calls on plastic surgery.
Because you look at her, if she was pulled any tighter, she'd be an unopened Braunschweiger tube.
>> Number two, she was a smart woman.
>> All right, if she is, in her heart, a nice woman... >> She has a heart?
No, I'm kidding, I'm kidding.
>> Number three, she was a smart woman from San Francisco.
>> But she's a San Francisco liberal, but do you think she's actually crazy?
>> There's a lot of ire that gets stirred up about that particular combination.
>> This is an ABC News election update.
>> A big night for Republicans on this Election Day.
>> Republicans have indeed taken control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
That means the speaker, Nancy Pelosi, will have to step down from that position.
>> Obamacare was the thing that carried us into the majority.
And Nancy was a big part of allowing that to happen.
She's got this no-holds-barred attitude that she's going to go run the tables and the other side be damned.
And that came to cost her the majority in 2010.
>> Outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, said despite the Democrats' huge loss, she has no regrets.
>> On television she was pressed to reveal how she felt about the loss.
>> The president said he was sad.
>> That it was sad.
>> And for you?
>> Well, it's sad in terms of my colleagues who won't be coming back.
For me, I'm a professional.
>> Pelosi's approach has been one of extreme control.
She simply did not express or share her interior life with the public.
>> You never felt it, you didn't feel what we all feel?
>> Well, I felt it for my colleagues, I felt it for the American people, because I do believe that there is a distinction.
>> She decided it was not relevant to her career and that it would not in any way help her to be sharing her feelings.
It's just a strategic approach that she took.
>> So I believe there was a lot at stake.
>> But we all have to talk to ourselves in moments when it feels bruised, when it feels rough.
>> Well, let me tell you, when I get time for that, I'll call you, and I'll let you know how it feels.
>> She's not a whiner.
And why isn't she a whiner?
Look at where she grew up.
Look at her political grounding and with her father, look at her background in Baltimore.
She knows what politics is.
She's known it her entire life.
She knows it can hurt, she knows it can be brutal.
And she was taught you don't whine about it, and she doesn't.
>> NARRATOR: For the next eight years, she would be relegated to the minority in Congress.
But she wouldn't give up.
>> ♪ Money, money, money, money ♪ ♪ Money ♪ >> Colin Kaepernick, 49ers quarterback, knelt instead of standing during the national anthem.
>> The first time that a major party has nominated a woman for president.
>> When you're a star, they let you do it-- you can do anything.
>> Whatever you want.
>> Grab 'em by the... >> A sea of protesters, mostly women, one of the largest inauguration-related demonstrations in U.S. history.
>> An unusual and sometimes wild day at the Trump White House, following a weekend of new beginnings, new controversies.
President Trump is making some waves on the first business day of his presidency.
Trump is scheduled to meet with congressional leaders for the first time... >> Congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle here at the White House-- very, very busy Monday here.
>> NARRATOR: Once again, Nancy Pelosi was the only woman in the room.
>> When Trump took over in that unexpected victory in 2016, Republicans were then holding the House and the Senate.
And while Nancy Pelosi was no longer the speaker-- she was the minority leader in the House-- she was the face of the Democratic opposition to Trump, and she had a weak hand, but she played it pretty well.
>> How would the president begin this very historic meeting, and what this means to him?
>> NARRATOR: It was a moment Pelosi recounted in a recent interview with "Frontline."
>> He puts his hands on the desk, like this, slouches into the desk, and said, "You know, I won the popular vote, because five million people voted who were not legal to vote, and so I won the popular vote."
So I thought I would take the opportunity to tell the president that what he was saying was not true.
"There is no data, no truth, no facts, no evidence to support what you're saying."
>> She made it very clear very early on that she had the, the toughness, the tenacity to stand up to him and to do so in some very blunt terms.
>> She is a partisan warrior and she saw in Trump somebody to come up against as an equal.
He's the president.
She's the Democratic leader.
Somebody he has to reckon with.
And she didn't give up any opportunity to make a real spectacle of that.
(cameras clicking) >> So then the press converged.
They said, "What did you think when he did that?
", and I said, "Well, I prayed for him, but more importantly, I prayed for the United States of America."
Imagine abusing that first historic meeting for politics.
>> She had never met a president who would just lie.
She was just genuinely appalled by Trump from that first meeting.
It started pretty low and it went downhill from there, you know?
>> (chanting): Drain the swamp!
>> It is time to drain the swamp in Washington, D.C. >> NARRATOR: Trump came to Washington attacking the establishment.
>> We are led by very stupid people.
>> NARRATOR: "The Swamp," he called it.
>> It's a corrupt and crooked system.
>> Symbolically, Nancy Pelosi is the institutionalist.
She represents everything people hate about the system, everything people want to smash using the bluntest instrument available to them, even if it's Donald J. Trump.
>> It's time to clean up our nation's capital.
>> NARRATOR: Pelosi wasted no time demonstrating her power in the Washington way, with a campaign to retake the House.
>> The day after the election, we didn't agonize, we organized.
>> It goes back to the lesson she learned as a child in her household.
You know, politics is a lot about learning how to count.
She wanted to get to 218 and above.
>> I don't think that what the president said is a reflection of our values.
>> She's doing the strategy.
She's doing the fundraising.
She's flying around the country.
(cheers and applause) Just constantly campaigning for candidates.
>> We don't agonize, we organize.
We have to win this election.
>> She has this incredibly prodigious ability to raise money for people who are running for office.
And money is the coin of the realm.
>> And she's the best at what she does.
>> For the first time ever in an off-year election, the Democrats significantly out-raise the Republicans, and that's because of Nancy Pelosi.
>> Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, and they have a message... >> So much money came in, that in the last three weeks, they didn't even know what to do with it.
>> You will make the difference for America-- please vote.
>> I've never seen anything like it, and it's because of Nancy Pelosi.
>> Democrats picked up more than two dozen House seats to take control for the first time in eight years.
>> A big day for female candidates-- at least 114 women won their races.
>> She knows how to count votes.
If she knows nothing else, she certainly knows how to count votes.
>> (chanting): Speaker!
>> NARRATOR: But with the victory, a surprising challenge to her power.
It came from within her own ranks.
>> It's largely forgotten how perilous a position Nancy Pelosi was in, and whether she was actually going to become the speaker was an open question.
>> After the 2018 midterms, Nancy Pelosi faces a real push to possibly retire, possibly not become House speaker.
You hear Democrats sort of grumbling aloud about whether or not a new generation of Democrats should be allowed to take the reins of power.
>> When will you embrace a Green New Deal?
When, Speaker Pelosi?
>> (cheering and applauding) >> More than 200 protesters demonstrated outside her Washington, D.C., office.
The protests gathered inside Pelosi's office included Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York.
Ocasio-Cortez, first day on the Hill, and she chose to join a protest outside of Nancy Pelosi's office about climate change.
>> I just want to let you all know how proud I am of each and every single one of you.
>> After that 2018 election, you saw a newer generation of Democratic members come in.
They quickly became known as the Squad.
>> The Squad is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib.
And they really represent the diversity of not just ethnicity, but background and lived experience that has been so missing in a Congress that is majority white, that's majority millionaire.
>> Unsurprisingly, they were a little skeptical of Pelosi.
They did see her as the first woman to ever be able to reach the place of power and influence, but at the same time, they also thought that she was representative of an older generation.
>> They had different ideas about how to do things in the House.
They wanted more bold action on some things, whereas Pelosi and Congressman Hoyer and Congressman Clyburn, they were seen as more of the old guard, more traditional, not on board with some of the new ways of doing things that the new members wanted.
>> NARRATOR: The challenge to Pelosi's leadership extended to moderate Democrats, too.
>> We need a new vision, we need a forward-looking vision.
It's time, I think, for a new generation of leadership... >> Who is the leader of the Democratic Party?
>> Who is the leader of the Democratic Party?
>> That's what she asked.
(laughs): She asked you that.
>> Does my silence say something?
>> Yeah, it does.
>> This is the challenge that we have right now.
I don't think that people are looking at Leader Pelosi, with all due respect to her, and saying, you know, "Here is the future of our party."
>> There is a push to get her out of there, even though she carried them back to power.
Some House Democrats privately meet in the days after the election and say, "Hey, we have an opening here.
Maybe we can get someone else to step in."
>> Are you supporting Leader Pelosi for speaker at this point?
>> This, yeah, I'll see you later.
>> (laughing) >> We tout diversity in this party.
There's no diversity in our leadership.
>> What you basically have is the establishment surrounding our current leadership, and the American people want change, and we're going to try to give it to them.
>> And this is all about moving on to the next generation of leadership.
>> Trump sees that Nancy Pelosi is weak at that moment.
He has not a lot of knowledge about politics, but he has an instinct for the weakness in his adversaries.
>> I can get Nancy Pelosi as many votes as she wants in order for her to be speaker of the House.
(tweet sends) >> Trump is literally saying, like, "Hey, Nancy, you know, you need some help getting over the line there?
Well, we'll help you out."
It would have been infuriating to Nancy Pelosi.
>> NARRATOR: Trump continued to taunt Pelosi in an Oval Office meeting in front of the television cameras.
>> Okay, thank you very much.
It's a great honor to have Nancy Pelosi with us and Chuck Schumer... >> Trump had this tactic where he liked to set people off balance.
He'd sometimes keep the cameras in the room.
>> People are not... >> And we gained in the Senate.
Nancy, we've gained in the Senate.
>> Excuse me, did we win the Senate?
We won the Senate.
>> Let me say this.
>> We did win North Dakota and Indiana.
>> This is the most unfortunate thing, we came in here in good faith, and we're entering into this kind of a discussion in the public view.
>> But it's not bad, Nancy.
>> No, but it's... >> It's called transparency.
>> Pelosi keeps trying to sort of get it to stop, like, "Do we need to do this in front of the cameras?
", and... >> I also know that, you know, Nancy's in a situation where it's not easy for her to talk right now, and I understand that.
>> He questioned her strength because he wanted to try to embarrass her on national television.
And what Nancy Pelosi does is what she's really, really good at, and that is to turn the moment around and say, "Actually, I am the one with the power in this situation."
>> Mr. President, please don't characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting as the leader of the House Democrats, who just won a big victory.
>> There's sort of this reality TV show playing out.
And she somehow is the person who seems to be the most powerful in the room, even though she's in the Oval Office speaking to the president of the United States.
>> This isn't about-- this is about the security of our country you take an oath to protect and defend.
And we don't want to have that mischaracterized by anyone.
>> Pelosi had his number.
Donald Trump, to this day, does not realize how embarrassed he was by her.
How the public looked at this, and even if they didn't like her, they still thought, "Way to go, sister."
>> And let me just say one thing, the fact is, you do not have the votes in the House.
>> Nancy, I do.
And we need border security.
>> Well, let's take the vote and we'll find out.
>> Thanks, guys, thank you.
>> Way to speak up to the man.
You just swatted him away with a single statement.
You owned him.
>> Heads up, heads up.
>> When Pelosi comes out, she's got this swingy red coat on.
She's got sunglasses on.
She looks like James Bond.
She looks like she is in control of the world.
>> ♪ You don't have the votes ♪ ♪ You don't have the votes ♪ >> I called her and I'm, like, "Mom, you're an internet meme!"
She said, "What are you talking about?"
I said, "No, you're an internet meme.
What you said in the meeting-- people are already saying they want to have that tattooed on their arm.
They're already turning it into T-shirts.
And then your coat-- your coat already has a Twitter account."
>> And it did really cement her reputation as someone who could go toe to toe with, with Donald Trump.
>> In so many ways, the contrast with Trump made people see her in a new light.
She was such a contrast with him-- as a woman, but also as an institutionalist, who was a stickler for the rule of law, as someone who believed in building up government rather than tearing it down.
>> You quickly find that Democrats, after their grumbling, coalesce around Nancy Pelosi.
And it's once again a moment where she shows that she has the power to hold onto the speakership.
>> (applauding) >> I extend my hand of friendship to every member of this body.
And to the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, I extend to you this gavel.
>> (cheering and applauding) >> NARRATOR: Her power secure, she sent a message to the Squad.
>> "If the left doesn't think I'm left enough, so be it."
>> I think it was probably galling to her that, "Here you come, you haven't achieved anything yet.
You don't know anything about policy, when I've spent all of these years learning the institution, learning the policy, learning how to pull the levers."
I think it had to be galling and sort of ironic at the end of the day.
>> "All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world, but they didn't have any following.
They're four people, and that's how many votes they got."
>> Nancy Pelosi has to deal with something no one's ever had to deal with.
You have people coming to Congress on both sides who are basically building brands-- lucrative brands, marketable brands.
These are celebrity politicians who've never cast a vote.
And don't feel like they should have to, you know, bow to any institutional norms.
>> "That public 'whatever' is called public sentiment."
(tweet sends) >> There was this difference of opinion about power and how to use it and how to get it.
You had the Squad members who just wanted to come in and boom, boom, boom... >> The progressive caucus in the building!
>> ...kind of ramrod their way through Congress.
But Speaker Pelosi was more of a tactician, more of a negotiator.
>> Pelosi was saying, "I know how to count votes.
We have a majority.
We can afford to lose those votes."
The bigger thing that she was trying to say is, they don't influence the party.
They can try.
They can be loud, but they're not going to change the legislation.
>> Her message was clear, that she didn't view them as serious.
That she was saying, "We're the adults doing legislation over here.
And you might have some beautiful ideas, but you're not part of this process."
>> This is CNN breaking news.
>> We're following breaking news on President Trump's contacts with Ukraine... >> About the phone call that inspired a whistleblower complaint... >> President Trump makes this phone call to the president of Ukraine where he pretty clearly says he wants to get dirt on Joe Biden.
>> The president presses Ukraine's leader about eight times, eight times in that single call.
>> It is a gift in some ways to Nancy Pelosi, because here's an act that is so outrageous that Nancy Pelosi is forced to act.
>> Pelosi thought that this was an outrageous act for a president to commit, and that there's no choice but to go to impeachment.
>> Today, I'm announcing the House of Representatives moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry.
The president must be held accountable.
No one is above the law.
>> Trump takes it personally.
Impeachment chops the relationship in half.
If there was any thread left, it's gone after impeachment.
>> Dear Madam Speaker: you are violating your oaths of office, you are breaking your allegiance to the Constitution, and you are declaring open war on American democracy.
>> He says she's despicable.
He rails against her mental acuity.
Every name in the book is hurled at Pelosi by Trump.
>> Because Nancy Pelosi is grossly incompetent.
She's totally incompetent.
Nancy Pelosi should be impeached.
These people are crazy.
And crazy Nancy Pelosi...
(moans) Nervous Nancy!
>> (laughing) >> Thank you.
>> Thank you very much.
>> Do you hate the president, Madam Speaker?
>> I don't hate anybody.
I was raised in a Catholic house.
We don't hate anybody.
Not anybody in the world.
Don't you accuse me of... >> I did not accuse you.
>> You did, you did.
>> I asked a question.
>> You did.
>> We saw her become more comfortable in her own skin, more assertive, perhaps less tolerant of dissent, perhaps less tolerant of criticism.
She certainly was comfortable asserting power when it came to Trump.
>> And, as a Catholic, I resent your using the word "hate" in a sentence that addresses me.
I don't hate anyone.
I was raised in a way that is full, a heart full of love, and always pray for the president.
And I still pray for the president.
I pray for the president all the time.
So, don't mess with me when it comes to words like that.
>> NARRATOR: Pelosi's Democrats would line up behind her to impeach Trump, but that wasn't enough to overcome Republican opposition in the Senate.
>> (cheering and applauding) >> This is what the end result is.
>> (cheering and applauding) >> Trump really was even more emboldened, in part from his feeling of vindication and that he could do whatever he wanted with impunity.
>> (cheering and applauding) >> NARRATOR: The partisan warfare between the president and Pelosi escalated.
>> (talking in background) (gavel banging) >> Madam Speaker!
The president of the United States.
>> (cheering and applauding) >> He's walking up.
He's going to be, I guess, shaking hands with Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House.
Let's watch this moment.
>> (cheering and applauding) >> Uh, it looks like she went to shake his hand and he did not, he did not take it.
>> (cheering and applauding) >> There's almost never a moment that a speaker of the House knows all eyes are going to be on them in the way that she knew in that moment.
It's a Trump State of the Union.
You get the shot of the president, the vice president, and the speaker.
>> The state of our union is stronger than ever before.
>> (cheering and applauding) >> We know that political media analyzes every eye roll, every decision to stand or not stand, to clap or not clap.
So she knows every eye is on even her most subtle gesture.
>> We will never let socialism destroy American healthcare.
>> (cheering and applauding) >> You could just sense Pelosi feeling tighter and angrier and just watching him perform.
All of that is kind of coming out, you know, in the House chamber.
And it's Nancy Pelosi's chamber.
She's the speaker of the House.
>> Here tonight is a special man, beloved by millions of Americans.
Rush Limbaugh, thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country.
>> (cheering and applauding) >> Rush Limbaugh.
This conservative radio host, who, of course, had been attacking Nancy Pelosi for a long time.
>> So, you know, with Pelosi, there's stupid and then there's Botox stupid.
I don't that think she is blessed with a tremendous I.Q.
I don't think this is the brightest bulb.
Put pictures of Pelosi in every cheap motel room.
That will keep birth rates down, because that picture will keep a lot of things down.
>> He's also someone who had called women prostitutes, who had said all sorts of things that so many people saw to be racist.
>> Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream.
If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, we want you to post the videos so we can all watch.
Hu Jintao was just going... (mocking Chinese) (mocking continues) >> I am proud to announce tonight that you will be receiving our country's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
>> (cheering and applauding) >> I don't know how she sat there.
I don't know how she did it.
To have that in your face and to listen to him and see Rush Limbaugh lauded, she must have felt totally disrespected.
Totally ignored in her position and disrespected in her House.
>> The best is yet to come.
God bless you and God bless America.
Thank you very much.
>> (cheering and applauding) >> Did you just see how Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped up the speech right behind the president?
>> Yeah, it looked like she was sort of ripping up the advance copy of the speech.
>> This is a maximum moment of fury, I think, for Nancy Pelosi.
If you want a visual, from now on, for history, of how Washington broke, you can do no worse, I think, than to have this image of the speaker of the House literally ripping up the words of the president of the United States.
>> The first case of the deadly Chinese coronavirus... >> A tragic turn in the coronavirus outbreak, the first death from the disease here in the United States.
>> Say her name!
>> Breonna Taylor!
>> Say her name!
>> Breonna Taylor!
>> Mourners gathered in front of the Supreme Court to pay tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
>> The question is...
The question... Would you shut up, man?
>> Listen, who is on your list, Joe?
>> Wait a minute, you get the final word... >> Well, it's hard to get any word in with this clown-- excuse me, this person.
>> Uh, whether it's ultraviolet or just very powerful light, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way.
If you count the legal votes, I easily win.
If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.
>> (chanting): Trump won!
>> (chanting): Nancy!
>> Nancy Pelosi!
(chanting continues) Where you at, Nancy?
Where are you, Nancy?
We're looking for you!
>> She had to be shaken.
That was probably the worst thing she had ever, ever experienced during her time in Congress and in leadership, to have a full-blown, physical assault on the institution that you revere and respect, and to think that the staff and the people who work there, and the members, were threatened and their lives were in danger.
>> There were some of us that were hiding in a room.
And she came to that room and she announced that we were going to be going back into session.
That it was essential for the people of our country and the people around the world to see that our democracy would continue.
>> Speaker Pelosi was genuinely horrified, horrified and frightened for the future of our democracy.
And that sounds grandiose, but it's true!
The aim was to stop a constitutional responsibility, to stop Congress from certifying the results of the election.
The reaction you saw from Speaker Pelosi was genuine.
>> Today, a shameful assault was made on our democracy.
To those who strove to deter us from our responsibility, you have failed.
To those who engaged in the gleeful desecration of our temple of democracy, justice will be done.
>> It was a horrific event.
So many people's lives were put at stake.
And people died.
People died there, and that wasn't anything Nancy Pelosi was going to take lightly.
>> It was a moment of profound fury on Pelosi's part.
She felt that she had been warning and warning and warning about Donald Trump.
>> In the moment, it really felt like this was the last straw, even for some of his closest allies.
>> All I can say is, count me out, enough is enough.
Trump and I, we've had a hell of a journey.
I hate it to end this way, oh, my God, I hate it.
>> There was a widespread sense that January 6 might have really been the breaking point for Donald Trump with the Republican Party.
>> The mob was fed lies.
They were provoked by the president.
>> She thought that McConnell and McCarthy finally saw what she had seen.
>> The president bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters.
He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding... >> Speaker Pelosi is set to put in motion the second impeachment of President Trump.
>> Impeachment for an unprecedented second time.
>> NARRATOR: Pelosi seized the moment.
>> A growing number of Republicans now joining calls to remove President Trump... >> NARRATOR: It took only a week.
>> Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has no issues with impeaching the president a second time.
>> Accusing the president of willfully inciting violence against the government.
>> Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling him deranged and dangerous.
>> Thank you.
>> She did think it was a statement they needed to make.
Whatever the short-term consequences of a second impeachment, she wanted to put the stain of a second impeachment on Trump for all history.
>> Forgive me if I don't buy Nancy Pelosi's crocodile tears about how brokenhearted she is about her second impeachment of President Trump.
>> The initial shock and horror and dismay inevitably begins to fade.
>> Well, the whole thing is just political, it's a power grab by Nancy Pelosi... >> Well, she keeps violating the Constitution.
This latest impeachment is just a simple example.
>> You have the overwhelming power of the pro-Trump chorus in the media.
>> This political weaponization of impeachment... >> First tentatively, and then louder and louder.
>> By the use of the impeachment power in this way, she's destroyed separation of powers.
>> So I think it was a bad, rushed, emotional move that puts the presidency at risk.
>> It was not a huge surprise to her when, in very short order, they either stopped criticizing Trump or they even began supporting him in his big lie.
>> But we know we have a House of fools, because they elected Nancy Pelosi to be their speaker.
I mean, look what they did... >> I don't think anyone would accuse Nancy Pelosi of being naïve about the Republican Party.
She's had decades to become pretty cynical about her opponents and their intentions and their motivations.
(gavel banging) >> The question is on the article of impeachment.
Is the respondent, Donald John Trump, guilty or not guilty?
The clerk will call the roll.
>> Mr. Graham.
Mr. Graham, not guilty.
Mr. McConnell, not guilty.
(gavel banging) >> The yeas are 57.
The nays are 43.
>> (chanting): Trump won!
>> The respondent, Donald John Trump, former president of the United States, is not guilty as charged in the article of impeachment.
>> (chanting): Trump won!
>> We will not bend.
We will not break.
We will not yield.
We will never give in.
We will never give up.
We will never back down.
We will never, ever surrender.
My fellow Americans, our movement is far from over.
In fact, our fight has only just begun.
>> (chanting): Trump won!
>> For Pelosi, this is a rolling, cascading crisis.
It didn't end on January 20.
Pelosi, more than anyone, understands that Republicans now and in the coming months are going to be on the march.
>> NARRATOR: From her position as speaker, Pelosi has been doing what she can to stop them.
>> There was just a point of reckoning where you put up or you shut up.
And she was not going to shut up about this.
She went after this with a vengeance.
>> Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she'll now create a select committee to further investigate the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.
>> Lawmakers leading the select committee said no one would be off limits and now they have issued their very first subpoenas... >> NARRATOR: Aiming for Trump and his allies.
>> Former President Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon... >> Criminal contempt charges against former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows... >> Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in the House of Representatives-- this is significant news.
>> She had to seek the truth.
And no one expected her to do it with anything other than the greatest vigor and vitality and vengeance.
You may have turned the page, but not the cheek.
>> NARRATOR: With the January 6 committee closing in and the midterms looming, Pelosi is once again a lightning rod.
>> Nancy Pelosi has turned the U.S. House of Representatives into a Stalinist show trial, that's what it is.
>> Republicans have found their favorite villain in Nancy Pelosi.
That's forever, right?
>> Pelosi has broken this institution.
It shows exactly what I warned back at the beginning of January, that Pelosi would play politics with this.
>> NARRATOR: The question in Washington now is whether the Democrats and Pelosi can hold on to power.
>> Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden have this urgency to get big bills passed quickly because they understand that their power could be fleeting.
>> NARRATOR: Top of Pelosi's list, President Biden's reconciliation bill: trillions of dollars in spending for some of her lifelong ambitions.
>> The reconciliation bill was a culmination of my service in Congress, because it was about the children, the children, the children, the children-- their health, about health, education, the economic security of their families, a clean, safe environment in which they could thrive.
>> The President's huge social spending bill is stalled in the Senate.
>> And with intraparty fighting between Democrats over the reconciliation bill... >> NARRATOR: But in a bitterly divided Washington... >> There's no path forward right now in the Congress.
>> Can Democrats in a bitterly gridlocked Senate get anything done?
>> NARRATOR: ...success is uncertain.
>> Nancy Pelosi has shown that she really is a historic figure.
She is clearly the premier vote counter in Washington today, but Washington is a place where it is almost impossible to get things done.
And she's ending her career at a time where expectations are trimmed, both for Democrats and therefore for Pelosi herself.
♪ ♪ >> The Democrats in imminent danger of losing the majority in the House... >> They are of course working against the clock and the very strong possibility of a Republican takeover in Congress... >> Democrats are trying to drag their agenda across the finish line while also staring down the looming midterm elections.
♪ ♪ >> Go to pbs.org/frontline for our latest transparency project - more than 30 interviews from the film including Speaker Pelosi.
>> Clean air, clean water, food safety, public safety... >> She had to be the one.
>> You can’t do anything unless you win elections.
>> She’s always her father’s daughter.
>> She’s a no-holds-barred politician... >> Connect with Frontline on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
And stream anytime on the PBS Video App, YouTube or pbs.org/frontline.
Captioned by Media Access Group at WGBH access.wgbh.org >> For more on this and other Frontline programs visit our website at pbs.org/frontline.
♪ ♪ Frontline's "Pelosi's Power" is available on on Amazon Prime Video.