‘You have to be ready to take a punch, and you have to be ready to throw a punch… If you don’t have the courage, don’t get in the arena…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is the recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award this year.
The award was bestowed recognition of Pelosi’s efforts to pass the Affordable Care Act under the Obama administration and for her candor during the 2018 mid-term elections, according to officials.
Pelosi will be honored with the award on May 19 during a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.
“[Pelosi] leads with strength, integrity and grace under pressure—using her power to protect the most vulnerable of our citizens,” Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the 35th president, said in a statement.
Kennedy, who was ambassador to Japan during the Obama administration, called Pelosi “the most important woman in American political history.”
She applauded the House speaker’s work with the economic bailout package under Obama in 2008, and with Obamacare in 2010, both of which faced strong opposition.
“So, the courage that that takes, really, I think, makes her an example and an inspiration for generations of Americans, men and women,” Kennedy said.
Pelosi said the award is an “enormous compliment” and hopes it empowers other women.
“Going with it are shoulders for other people to stand on,” Pelosi told CBS News. “I’ve stood on many women’s shoulders who have paved the way for us. And now we have to pave the way for others. So, it’s about the future.”
Referring JFK’s inauguration speech, Pelosi said the award itself, shaped like a lantern, symbolized the manifestation of his guiding light.
“That energy, faith and fire have inspired my work in the Congress and as Speaker, and it is my hope that my receiving this award will encourage others to pursue public service, and lead with courage, conviction and conscience.”
Pelosi acknowledged that in politics it takes both courage and a thick skin to be successful.
“You have to be ready to take a punch, and you have to be ready to throw a punch,” Pelosi said. “I’m in the arena. And I know that when you’re in the arena, this is what you should expect. But if you don’t have the courage, don’t get in the arena.”