DES MOINES, Iowa -- Her story has been historic. "I went from house wife to house speaker, I want you to know," said U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
For an hour, Pelosi had the full attention of Iowa Democrats inside Drake University’s Sheslow Auditorium. "Our diversity is our strength. Our unity is our power," said Pelosi.
The 17-term congresswoman fielded audience questions ranging from climate change to the ongoing trade war with China, which has hurt Iowa farmers. "Don’t take an action that empowers the adversary to harm your own people," she said.
Pelosi previewed the lower drug cost now act which she believes if passed can be groundbreaking for prescription drug costs. Pelosi said, "What it does is enables the secretary of HHS to negotiate for lower drug prices. On Medicare drugs alone we will save about $350 billion."
She also set her sights on our nation's youth. "Everything we do is about you, is about the future, about preserving the planet and giving opportunity and respecting diversity," Pelosi said.
It made Drake student Elizabeth James feel empowered. "To be a woman in any professional field is difficult, and her advice to know your value and to have a plan for the future, that’s good advice," said James.
For Colin Scanes it was a rally cry. "She was a great unifier and a woman with a backbone of steel," Scanes said.
Attendees were treated to a warm and intimate feel as Pelosi navigated through her rise to Speaker of the House and the highest ranking elected woman in U.S. history. Outside, protesters provided a different feel and a more controversial title as leader of President Trump’s impeachment inquiry. "This is all about stopping the madness. Folks are incredibly upset with this baseless impeachment witch hunt that’s going on in Washington. Iowans feel as if their vote is not valid," said Preya Samsundar, State Communications Director of the Republican National Committee.
Pelosi said launching the inquiry wasn’t taken lightly. "Nobody comes to Congress to impeach a president. For a long time I said he isn’t worth impeaching because it further divides the country until it became so clear." Pelosi feels that for Democrats it is clear what’s missing in the White House: love. "For us, love means let other versions exist. Be respectful," said Pelosi.
Pelosi also had high praise for first-year U.S. Congress members from Iowa, Cindy Axne and Abby Finkenauer. She said both have made a tremendous difference from the start.