The Godfather on Pelosi


No, this is not another movie reference. I’m serious.

It turns out that prominent Columbia attorney Jim Leventis is the godfather of the youngest of Nancy Pelosi’s five children, Alexandra. The Leventises and the Pelosis have been good friends for 40 years. Here’s how that happened:

After he graduated from USC law school, someone said, "Go north, young man," or something along those lines, so the ColumbiaLeventisjim
native went to New York for a stint with Citibank. The guy at the desk next to his was Paul Pelosi, who had married a Baltimore girl name of Nancy Patricia D’Alesandro. (Her father had been mayor of that city, as her brother would later be.)

The couples became close friends, and the Leventises, who at that time had no kids of their own, felt a bond with the Pelosi children. When the youngest came along, Jim was asked to stand as godfather.

"She was just a good mom," is the way Mr. Leventis remembers the lady the Republicans just did so much to demonize (unsuccessfully, as it turns out).

Paul Pelosi was from California, and eventually the family moved back to his home in San Francisco, where his brother was on the local council. Mrs. Pelosi got involved in politics, but on a part-time, peripheral, grass-roots kind of way. That was the extent of her involvement because, as Mr. Leventis recalls, she "had too many children to raise."

Eventually, they grew up. (Goddaughter Alexandra, who is a brand-new mom herself as of this week, is a filmmaker known, ironically enough, for a documentary about George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign, "Journeys with George.") From then on, Mrs. Pelosi went at politics full-bore.

Jim Leventis, you may recall, has had his own foray into electoral politics. He was the Democratic nominee for the 2nd Congressional District in 1988. He did pretty well, too. He won in every county in the district save one. Unfortunately for him, that one was Lexington, incumbent Floyd Spence‘s home turf. It went so big for its homeboy that it overcame the Democrat’s advantage elsewhere.

Speaker-to-be Pelosi actually came down and helped with that campaign, which was Mr. Spence’s toughest re-election fight to date.

Mr. Leventis remains involved — more peripherally, as Mrs. Pelosi once was — in politics. He helped Jim Rex in his (apparently) successful bid for S.C. superintendent of education. But he acknowledges, in the nicest possible way, that his politics are somewhat different from those of his long-time friend. "I think hers are more extreme, so to speak," he said. "My style is more, let’s get together and get things done." But he hastens to add that she "does a good job at what she does."

The Leventises and the Pelosis remain friends. "Paul and I talk pretty frequently," he said. As for Paul’s wife, this is the bottom line for Jim Leventis: "As a person, she’s just a wonderful mom and just a wonderful friend."

Thus spake the godfather.


11 thoughts on “The Godfather on Pelosi

  1. Dave

    Brad, Nancy, who pulls in huge sums from union backers, owns a non-union business in CA (winery and vineyards). That business has been using illegals as reported yesterday. She is a perfect posterchild for the “new” Democrat party, a pro-abortion Catholic who is one of wealthiest reps in government, continually ranting about why the wealthy arent paying more taxes, yet she is paying survival wages in her own businesses. I wonder if the NY Times will ever expose this?

  2. bud

    Dave, you just sound like a whiny, sore loser with that last post. Let’s try to solve some problems for a change. The voters have spoken. We’ve had two rounds of extreme partisan bickering. First the non stop attacks on Bill Clinton by the Republicans, then the Democrats had their turn with Mr. Bush. Let’s call it a draw and move on.

  3. Lee

    Limosine liberals like Pelosi are a problem.
    So is Diane Feinstein, who
    * who was mayor when her husband was the biggest real estate developer in San Francisco
    * sponsors restrictive gun laws while issuing the only handgun permit in San Francisco to herself, for a 15-round Smith & Wesson Model 5906 semiautomatic 9mm handgun.
    * Spent over $50,000,000 of her husband’s money to finance her two Senate races, for a job that pays $142,000.

  4. Dave

    Bud, I agree, lets find some solutions. Iraq, immigration, social security, keeping the economy strong, Education, and national security are all on my list. Not necessarily in that order of priority. Where to start?

  5. Dave

    Randy, I am anxiously awaiting the Reid – Pelosi “plan” to solve all of our problems. I will accept constructive solutions objectively. But I am waiting to hear them or read them.

  6. Randy Ewart

    Raising the minimum wage so the WORKING poor don’t have the lowest real wages in 50 years. That’s a good start.
    With all the accountability talk for school on this site, I think there should be tremendous support for accountability of W’s war. It forces him to analyze the situation more than “stay the course”.
    I like having a split congress for that very reason – parties holding each other accountable. 2006 = 1994 and 2004 = 1992. George Will wrote that our founding fathers were brilliant. They created a system in which we WANT gridlock because it stops one faction from running wild and forces compromise. Look who’s moved to the forefront; McCain and Obama.

  7. Sam

    Jim Leventis is a prince of a guy. A real gentleman. Knowing Jim, if he accepted the position of being a godfather for a young lady, he has followed through with her. Let’s hope his positive character qualities will somehow seep into his goddaughter’s mother, Ms. Pelosi.

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