Nancy Pelosi has secured another term as House minority leader, this time defeating Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan in the closest race she’s seen to date. Although her victory was no surprise to Democrats, some called it her toughest challenge yet.
Pelosi, however, is no stranger to adversity. As the House leader, she has championed women’s rights, recruited diversity to the caucus and worked to advance women in the House, largely under a Republican majority. She’s also had to overcome unfair media coverage typical of patriarchy.
Ms. is the only national magazine to put Pelosi on the cover. She was featured in its winter 2011 issue that called out Newsweek and TIME for ignoring Pelosi’s election, despite her groundbreaking, ceiling shattering success. The two media outlets featured John Boehner’s election as Speaker of the House on their covers that year.
While structural challenges like media bias, the tightened concentration of liberals in urban areas and Republican’s ability to redistrict in multiple states made Democratic gains difficult, Pelosi’s backers can still expect to see her continue bringing women’s issues to the forefront. In her acceptance speech on Wednesday, the septuagenarian talked about upcoming challenges brought in by the new administration.
“Every single day that goes by Republicans are making more inroads into undermining Medicare,” she said. “Our call to action to the American people is to tell the Republicans and Congress and the White House, keep your hands off our Medicare.”
Pelosi was the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House and has held the top House Democratic leadership position since 2003.