Nancy Pelosi Ousted as House Speaker, John Boehner Waits in Wings

Republican control of the U.S. House means end to Nancy Pelosi's historic reign.

ByABC News
November 2, 2010, 2:46 PM

Nov. 3, 2010— -- In his 2007 State of the Union address just days after voters handed control of the House to the Democrats, President George W. Bush graciously introduced the country to Rep. Nancy Pelosi -- the first woman Speaker of the U.S. House.

Pelosi, known as much for her hardball tactics as she was for her tailored suits, beamed with pride as she stood before Congress to acknowledge the applause and her position as the highest-ranking woman in American politics.

Nearly four years later, there is little for Pelosi to smile about. For months, Republicans have spoken her name as if it were a curse word, while some Democrats asked her to steer clear of their campaigns.

A historic Republican landslide Tuesday now means Pelosi will soon be stripped of the power that has defined her historic tenure.

"The outcome of the election does not diminish the work we have done for the American people," Pelosi said in a statement after the midterm outcome was clear. "We must all strive to find common ground to support the middle class, create jobs, reduce the deficit and move our nation forward."

Watch Speaker Pelosi's post-election interview with Diane Sawyer tonight on "World News."

Pelosi won reelection to a 12th consecutive term Tuesday night in her San Francisco district where she remains highly popular. But come January, she will hand over the speaker's gavel to a Republican, likely to be Ohio Rep. John Boehner.

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Boehner, 60, famously tells audiences that he is one of 12 children who did every did job that was needed in the Ohio bar that his father owned.

"I've spent my whole life chasing the American Dream," a joyfully tearful Boehner told supporters Tuesday night. "I poured my heart and soul into a small business. And when I saw how out-of-touch Washington had become with the core values of this great nation, I put my name forward and ran for office."