Cooperation with Pelosi pivotal to Obama
In the 10 months since then, Pelosi has successfully done what she's needed to do to push Obama's agenda through the House -- so much so, that some have asserted she's more effective than the president.
"I think she is a very effective speaker. She can deliver votes. Since 2006, since the Democrats took over, she's consistently been able to unite the Democratic caucus," said Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University.
Last month, Pelosi cut deals in order to get the Democrats' health care bill passed in the House. She was hands-on in the negotiations, agreeing to a less-robust public option than she originally wanted and allowing a vote on an amendment banning most abortion coverage from the public option. She's also played a key role in getting some of Obama's other priorities through her chamber, including the stimulus bill and the budget.
"Thus far, President Obama -- I think the jury is still out. He doesn't have a huge legislative record, we're still waiting to see what happens with health care. But [Pelosi's] delivered the votes already," Zelizer said.
Pelosi has a longer resume than the president, but it doesn't mean she carries more weight, Zelizer said.
"I don't think she is more powerful than the president; I think she's just been thus far able to deliver the votes that she's responsible for affecting," he said.