Pelosi has been credited for spearheading President Obama's health care law when it seemed that it would go down in defeat. After Republican Scott Brown won Democratic Ted Kennedy's former senate seat in the January 2010 Massachusetts special election and thereby causing the Senate Democrats to lose their filibuster proof majority, Obama agreed with then chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's idea that he should do smaller initiatives that could pass easily. Pelosi, however, dismissed the president's fear and instead mocked his scaled-back ideas as "kiddie care. " After convincing the president that this would be their only shot at health care because of the large Democratic majorities they currently had, she rallied her Democratic caucus as she began an "unbelievable marathon" of a two-month session to craft the health care bill, which successfully passed the House with a 219-212 vote. In Obama's remarks before signing the bill into law, he specifically credited Pelosi as being "one of the best Speakers the House of Representatives has ever had. "
Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi ( / p ə ˈ l oʊ s i / ; born March 26, 1940) is an American politician who currently serves as the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives , representing California 's 12th congressional district . She previously served as the 52nd House Speaker from 2007 to 2011, the only woman to do so. She is also, to date, the highest-ranking female politician in American history.