There are two very intense images that show Nancy Pelosi confronting the violent extremism she faced in the last years of her political career. In one, the Speaker of the House of Representatives appears unusually shocked in a television interview as she describes the brutal attack on her husband.
In another, the House Speaker opens a jerky package with her teeth during a storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, while speaking on the phone with Mike Pence, instructing the Republican vice president to stay safe from oncoming crowds. both. “Don’t tell anyone where you are,” he warned her.
That Pelosi, calm and in command in a moment of chaos, stern but right at all times, is the one with whom legislators have coddled for two decades, in addition to obeying, respecting and fearing her.
She is the most powerful woman in American politics and one of the country’s most important legislative leaders. Now 82, beset by political loss and personal trauma, he is nearing the end of his era.
Pelosi announced Thursday that she would not seek the Democratic leadership position in the new Congress when Republicans take office when the new session begins in January. Pelosi, however, will remain in the legislature as the representative of San Francisco, a seat she has held for 35 years.
“I never thought I’d go from housewife to speaker of the House of Representatives,” she admitted. About her future, she told reporters, “I love to dance and I love to sing. There’s life, isn’t it?
Yet as polarizing and combative as she was, Pelosi struck a deal with Republicans on landmark legislation, health care, highways, student loan relief, climate change and more.
Even former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who describes himself as a “partisan conservative who thinks most of his positions are crazy,” said Pelosi had a “remarkable” career.
“Totally effective,” Gingrich added about the Democrats. “He is clearly one of the strongest presidents in history. He has shown tremendous fortitude and discipline.”
Bono, who worked with Pelosi for years in the fight against AIDS, said in a statement to the Associated Press after a performance Thursday night in Scotland: “When the story of the end of AIDS is written, Nancy Pelosi’s name will be highlighted.” ” in bold.
“I am honored to know of her courage and grace and to call her a friend,” he said.
Many fellow Democrats have, at one point or another, earned their icy disapproving glares, and not just on the other side of the political spectrum.
“Politics is hard,” he said in 2015, “but within the party? Oh brother.”
Pelosi remained the dominant Democrat in the House of Representatives for nearly 20 years, including nearly eight as a two-term House speaker, with such harsh language as: “Whoever votes against the President will pay the price.” Will be,” directed at Democrats opposing, early in his presidency, his pressure to create a select committee on climate change.
“Nobody is going to walk away from here saying anything if they want to keep their necks intact,” Pelosi told negotiators trying to reach an agreement between the House and Senate to ban pork in 2007. A. Lawrence, his then chief of staff and author of a new internal book on his presidency, “Arc of Power.”
Sometimes, she would force the MLAs to line up without saying a word.
When the House first passed the articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, a simple wave of her hand silenced Democrats, as Pelosi was strict about decorum, though not always.
He tore up his copy of the text of Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address right on stage behind him and in front of the cameras. Such a dramatic protest raised questions about whether Pelosi had become disdainful in Trump at the time.
“He has torn the truth to shreds in his speech and he has torn the Constitution to shreds by his conduct, so I have torn the speech to shreds,” he declared curtly. “Thank you very much to all of you,” he said.
Republicans derided him as “Darth Nancy” in 2006, and as the years passed, they labeled him even more as a villain, complete with caricature images of him holding guns in his hands.
“She was, and is, an icon of the San Francisco progressive,” Lawrence said. “It was made to order for them.”
But “there was a distortion. The fact that she fit that profile perfectly: an intelligent, attractive, dominant woman… they knew they could caricature and tarnish things about her, her appearance and her style , which would be a very effective whistle for dogs. Woman Hatred”.
Lawrence insisted that she would never publicly attribute the attacks to the fact that she is a woman. “She was saying, ‘They did it because I’m dominant.'” Then she “pretended to dust off” her spotless coat.
“Darth Nancy” was a bizarre, remote slur when pro-Trump mobs came looking for him on Jan. 6. A sign carried by protesters at the Capitol read “Pelosi is the devil.”
They search his desk and find a pair of boxing gloves: pink.
Pelosi perfected the art of aiming high in her party and then disappointing one faction or the other without losing core support. Rare is the great achievement that was as leftist as the party’s leftists wanted.
But Pelosi had many achievements to her credit. For example, he negotiated the Obamacare bill — which overhauled the public health system during the presidency of Barack Obama — which initially did not give everyone the option of government health insurance, but over time, expanded access to medical care. Did.
He stepped on several toes along the way.
Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University, said, “Her instinct is to find a way out, and if you find yourself stuck in a hole, she’ll walk right over you.” “If she can thank you for that, fine. If not, you go to the medical tent.
Pelosi hasn’t faced any lingering doubts about her agility as she dogged Biden, who turned 80 on Sunday. She still runs around Congress in high heels, someone half her age can be hard to match.
However, concern has grown in Democratic ranks about the crowding out of old leaders who are still in charge.
Leon Panetta, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, said Pelosi could “try to build a strong bench in the House of Representatives in terms of leadership and making sure that others can follow.”
His fundraising ability was one of the keys to his success.
Representative Fred Upton, a Republican from Michigan, said, “That’s why the Democrats had more money than God.” “She was magical and I don’t think she lost a vote.”
The Associated Press congressional reporter Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report