California, though also having a (largely underserved) reputation as a fairly progressive state, somehow was lucky enough to have their delegate of House of Representatives' 8th district also be Speaker of the House. The 8th district of California covers most of San Francisco, the city that is probably largely the reason for California's (largely undeserved) reputation as a progressive state.
So, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been running around the world meeting almost everyone she can. On a Congressional tour of Israel and Syria, Pelosi tried to be a go-between for the Israelis and Syrians to discuss peace.
Now, she has met with Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, to discuss climate change ("Merkel and US House Speaker Pelosi Debate Climate Change," Deutsche Welle, May 29, 2007):
Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday after meeting with US House of Representives Speaker Nancy Pelosi that she would continue to press for binding targets to combat global warming ahead of the G8 summit in Germany.I wonder if she's shoring up on foreign policy experience to see if she can take a stab at running for President in the next decade or so. It's a common tactic of less-than-qualified career politicians.* George W. Bush didn't bother, of course, but it was the tactic Bill Richardson used for years before he decided he was going to run for the nomination in 2008. She'd have an opening in 2012 if the Democrats manage to steal defeat from the jaws of victory again.
"We need multilateral agreements to deal on a global basis with the challenges facing humanity," Merkel said after a meeting with Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives.
Pelosi, for her part, stressed her commitment to "save the planet" and said she supported cooperation on climate change as she met with Merkel.
* I always feel that the best candidates for President of the United States are the ones most quickly disqualified. First of all, I would expect them to be fairly effective governors of medium-to-large, influential, highly bureaucratic states. As far as foreign policy is concerned, having economic, cultural, and in some cases even political ties to other countries couldn't hurt. California has a large immigrant population from Latin America and Asia; New York has many European immigrants as well as the United Nations. Even Illinois, because of its immigrant population, and Massachusetts fit the bill to some extent. Also, it's not that I appreciate bureaucracy, but the federal government is the biggest bureaucracy of all. Unfortunately, such states, even as they often are tax donors to smaller states (meaning their citizens send income taxes to the federal government, which then get redistributed to other states), often have a reputation for being economically rigid. Thanks to media ostracization, potential candidates from such states tend to be taken out of the running early. Part of the reason for the said media ostracization is that these states tend to not really fit the media's prevailing image of "real America"—that is, predominantly white, Protestant, politically conservative-populist (at least on paper). As a matter of fact, they tend to be as politically hegemonic as allegedly conservative-populist states. As a result, we often end up with mediocre options from states that maybe shouldn't be states at all.