John Bresnahan at Politico.com has a nice profile on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
As Pelosi enters her third year as speaker, by any measure, she has become the most powerful woman in U.S. political history and is now preparing to wield her gavel in a way that few, if any, recent speakers could match. Even former Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, the architect of the 1994 Republican Revolution, pales in comparison. Pelosi is being mentioned by observers in the same breath as the legendary Sam Rayburn and Tip O'Neill, although she has yet to assemble a legislative record to match theirs.
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), no fan of Pelosi, said during a recent MSNBC appearance that she is "the most powerful speaker in a generation -- she will be able to do anything she wants."
Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee and Pelosi's closest friend in the House, likens her to a top athlete, one who has "downfield vision, who can see everything on the field at once."
Coming out of the gate with a new Democratic president and a larger Democratic majority in the Senate, she's been around long enough and is savvy enough to avoid small issues and narrow partisan agendas. She's seen the pitfalls of overweaning majorities and been in the political wilderness. She's got to quickly tackle big issues that will build a sense of common purpose among Americans across partisan lines.