All those years of Democratic Rep. George Miller’s devotion to the San Francisco congresswoman who became the first woman speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives paid off tonight.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew a record crowd to Miller’s annual birthday political fundraiser at the Pleasant Hill Community Center. It was a who’s who of Contra Costa Democratic politics, with Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo, in attendance along with dozens of local elected officials, from Contra Costa Supervisor John Gioia to Pinole Mayor Maria Alegria to Richmond Councilman Tony Thurmond.
Click here for the full story in the Contra Costa Times.
Pelosi heaped praise on Miller during her speech but it was Pelosi people came to see.
Young women, in particular, jockeyed to shake her hand and have their pictures taken with her. And as Pelosi proclaimed, “It would take a woman to clean up the House,” women yelled back, “Woman power!”
It was interesting to see Pelosi, known for her warm and maternal nature, naturally gravitate toward the children in the group, including Miller’s three granddaughters. Pelosi was the first speaker to not only surround herself with her own grandchildren but invite all the children up to the dais of the House of Representatives when she was sworn in last January.
It’s one of the characteristics she and Miller share.
Pelosi told the audience she once asked Miller how he wanted to be remembered and he told her he wanted to be known as spokesman for children.
Even I, a reporter for more years than I care to admit, got caught up in the sheer emotion of the evening. I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with Pelosi after the event and found myself inexplicably nervous in the company of the highest-ranking U.S. politician I have ever interviewed one-on-one.
And for my final observation, I must say I really enjoyed watching Danny Weiss, Miller’s exceptionally competent chief of staff, play photographer’s assistant for a nearly endless line of constituents who wanted to have their pictures taken with Pelosi and Miller. Weiss also delivered a quite passable imitation of a town crier to announce that Pelosi wanted to sing “Happy Birthday” to Miller despite the congressman’s protests to the contrary.