'This Week' Transcript: Nancy Pelosi

STEPHANOPOULOS: How about Caroline Kennedy? Do you think she was treated fairly in this process?

PELOSI: Well, politics is a brutal business, it really is brutal. And once you put yourself out there as a possible candidate for an office, you know, you're in the arena, the fight begins. She is great, highly intelligent, has done so much for education in New York, written books on our Constitution which is the oath that we take here.

I think she would have been a great senator. But the fact is Governor Paterson had many excellent choices. Kirsten is the one who is Senator Gillibrand soon-to-be.

And we're -- all of her colleagues are very excited for her.

STEPHANOPOULOS: There is an article in The Washington Post about all of this, and it had a headline that caught my eyes. I was wondering what you thought about it. Does a glass ceiling persist in politics? And it quotes Donna Brazile in the article pointing out that less -- fewer than 20 percent of the House and the Senate are women.

She said: "The elevator to our future growth in Congress is still stuck in the lobby." Now you've broken though one big…

PELOSI: I broke through the marble ceiling, forget the glass ceiling. In this Congress, it's a marble ceiling. It's over 200 years of pecking order that was very all-male and predicted long into the future. So I broke into that.

It's interesting to me that that's not mentioned in the article. And when I became speaker, I've named women -- I just named Carolyn Maloney the chair of the Economic -- Joint Economic Committee.

Congresswoman -- well, a long list of women from New York...

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: So this wasn't about sexism?

PELOSI: Oh, in Caroline's case? Oh, I didn't see it that way. But again, I'm not in New York, I'm not on the ground. But yes, Donna is right, we need more women. At the rate we're going it's going to take too long to get parity. We have to have some breakthroughs. And we have. I always said it's harder to be speaker than be president of the United States.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And I was wondering how you felt, finally, as the first female speaker of the House on Tuesday, as you escorted the first African-American president up to the podium and saw 1.8 million people out on the Mall.

PELOSI: Well, I actually saw 2 million. It was pretty exciting.

Obama: We come to proclaim and end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas

PELOSI: And as I sat there and listened to the speech, which I think is spectacular, the address...

STEPHANOPOULOS: It's tough.

PELOSI: I want everyone to study it. It's really a blueprint for the future. I was thinking of his mother, what a great person she must have been to have taken this extraordinary talent, this highly intelligent little boy and instilled the values and the discipline and the focus to become who he is, a person, and the great intellect, great vision, a strategic thinker, good judgment, and the eloquence, eloquence to lead a nation and to give people hope, I thought about his mother.

And also, as eloquent as he was, I told him, I said, you are eloquent, what was more eloquent to me was the silence of nearly 2 million people listening with rapt attention to what he had to say.

It was their attention and their silence, I thought that was very eloquent and bodes -- would bode well for the future.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Madam Speaker, thank you very much.

PELOSI: Thank you. A pleasure to see you again.

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