"Anybody who's ever dealt with me knows not to mess with me." - Nancy Pelosi
First of all when Republicans first started using the term "San Francisco Decmocrat" it was shorthand to their base of hate. It meant, "I like gay people," and all that goes with it.
As years went by it grew to mean, "soft on everything," "weak," "and everything the Republican base, in all it's bigoted splendor, hated.
More than one Republican called Nancy Pelosi a "San Francisco Democrat." Typical of Republican lies, she is anything but. Yes, she lives in the San Francisco Bay area, and has for a long time, but she learned her politics in Baltimore, Maryland, in an old-time city machine headed up by her dad, Mayor Thomas J. D'Allesandro, Jr., known in Baltimore as Old Tommy. He was Mayor from 1947 to 1959, having also served in Congress from 1939 to 1947. He is still fondly remembered for having brought the Orioles to Baltimore from St. Louis. He is also revered by the Italian-American community in Baltimore.
Old Tommy was tough as nails.
Her brother is Thomas J. D'Allesandro III, known as Young Tommy in Baltimore. He was Mayor from 1967 to 1971.
So rather than growing up in the laid-back west coast culture, she was schooled in the cauldron of tough East Coast big city politics. One of her first jobs was on her brother's staff. Some say she was one of the most influential members of that staff, keeping track of favors and who owed what to whom.
Politics is in her blood, as the foes she has defeated over the years will tell you.
She's Old Tommy's daughter and about as much a "San Francisco Democrat" as Rudy Giuliani.
She is the tough Democrat we've always been looking for.