Arriving on the red carpet at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and surrounded by her family, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she was speechless when she learned she had won the JFK Profile in Courage Award.
"I'm overwhelmed by the honor of it all," she said.
Hundreds of political VIP's turned out on Sunday to honor Pelosi at a black tie dinner, where she was introduced by Kennedy's grandson, Jack Schlossberg. He who described the 17-term congresswoman and twice-elected speaker as having a career of courage.
"She wins, wins again, makes history and then keeps winning," Schlossberg said.
Pelosi was chosen in part for what was described as "her tireless efforts to pass the Affordable Care Act in 2010 amid a climate of deepening polarization."
"They said, 'well it doesn’t look possible,'" Pelosi said of her obstacle to help get the bill passed. "'How do you intend to do this?'"
Calling Healthcare the cause of her life, Pelosi described her strategy.
"If we don’t push open the gate, we'll leapfrog over it, pole vault over it. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in," she said. "But we are not letting anything stand in the way of passing affordable healthcare for all Americans."
Commenting on Pelosi, Rep Ayanna Pressley said, "She embodies a unique combination of grit and grace."
Rep Jim McGovern reiterated Pressley's statement.
"I think she is the greatest speaker of the house in the history of our country," he said.
Rep Lori Trahan said, "I think she’s essentially running the country right now."
John Kerry said, "Some people may not agree with her but she’s a leader."
Pelosi says she shares her award with all her Democratic House colleagues who supported the affordable care act.