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Nancy Pelosi smiles during her weekly news conference, June 5, 2008, on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
Nancy Pelosi smiles during her weekly news conference, June 5, 2008, on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is the first woman in American history to lead the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill.

She's a San Francisco Democrat who has called President Bush a "total failure" and wants American women to "know their power," as her new book says.

She's been tough with the gavel, relentless on blasting the Iraq war, and challenged by the rising strength of "blue dog" conservative Democrats.

But her biggest challenge may lie ahead, if the Democrats win it all — Congress and the White House.

This hour, On Point: a conversation with Madame Speaker, Nancy Pelosi.

How do you rate Pelosi’s performance so far at the helm of the House? Do you welcome — or fear — possible Democratic control of Congress and the White House after this fall’s election? Join the conversation right here on this page and post a comment below.Guests:

Nancy Pelosi, Democrat from California, is Speaker of the House of Representative. She was first elected to the House in 1987, representing the congressional district that includes San Francisco. She's the author a new book, "Know Your Power: A Message to America's Daughters." (You can read an excerpt at RandomHouse.com).

Gail Chaddock, senior congressional correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor.

Paul Kane, congressional correspondent for The Washington Post.

This program aired on July 30, 2008.

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