Democrats in party mood as speaker flexes her muscles
Nine victory parties in three days, six new pieces of legislation to be passed in 100 hours - it is no wonder that Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful woman in Congress, has taken to flexing the bicep muscles beneath her impeccably tailored jackets.
"We've come a long way," Ms Pelosi told a breakfast for the Democratic faithful on Capitol Hill yesterday as she showed off her right arm. "This is such an exciting thing."
For those Democrats who seethed during their party's election defeats of 2000, 2002, and 2004 the return of both houses of Congress to Democratic control after 12 years on the margins is reason to celebrate. And celebrate they did in Ms Pelosi's first hours after becoming the first woman speaker of the House of Representatives on Thursday. Tony Bennett flew to croon about Ms Pelosi's home town, I Left My Heart in San Francisco, and activists wandered the gilded halls of Congress wearing commemorative badges fashioned after Rosie the Riveter, the iconic female munitions factory worker.
The Republicans call it Pelosi Palooza.
"It's just going to be an entirely new atmosphere and way of doing things," said Terry O'Neill, the director of the National Council of Women's Organisations, who attended a women's tea for 500 where guests nibbled on petits fours and crustless cucumber sandwiches and sipped champagne. "The atmosphere, the feeling, the way of doing things, it's a much more civilised approach." guardian.co.uk