St. Nancy: Patron of Chick Speakers

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It's not every day that a woman is elected House speaker-in fact it's never happened-so incoming House boss Nancy Pelosi is planning to make the most of it.

Aides say she has mapped out a victory lap leading to her January 4 election that both touches on her blue-collar, Catholic, and Italian-American roots and her firsts in politics. Instead of starting in liberal San Francisco, which she represents, Pelosi opens her two-day tour in her childhood home in Baltimore's Little Italy on January 2 at–where else–the Church of St. Leo the Great, for a mass. Then she'll huddle with the extended political family from Baltimore, where her dad was once mayor. On Wednesday, it's on to Washington, 30 miles down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, where she'll do two events at her alma mater, Trinity University: mass and a tea for other women players. Aides think it's cute that Pelosi "went away" to Trinity after high school. Then dinner at the Italian Embassy, where crooner Tony Bennett will perform.

Thursday brings her big election and then some little private swearing in for members that she'll attend. The evening is capped with a big fundraiser and gala featuring singers like Stevie Wonder.

And it all ends Friday when Pelosi will meet with just about anybody who wants to as she opens the Cannon House Office Building Caucus Room to Americans for what's called "the people's house" reception. The symbolism there, say aides: that she's returning the House to them from special interests.