Zelensky’s speech was a part of “a momentous week for our democracy,” Pelosi declared Thursday in her remaining information convention as speaker. It had additionally reminded her of one other second from many years in the past, when Winston Churchill, prime minister of the UK, spoke to Congress in 1941, as World Warfare II was underway. Within the viewers was Pelosi’s father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., then a younger congressman from Maryland. Pelosi herself was a toddler on the time.
“It at all times was a supply of pleasure to me that my father was there that day and now a supply of pleasure that I may very well be there to listen to one other heroic chief of … a rustic at struggle, come ask for assist,” Pelosi stated. “When Winston Churchill got here … he stated, ‘We’re doing the noblest job on the earth, not solely defending our hearths and houses, however the reason for freedom in each land.’ A lot the theme, a lot the widespread goal of President Zelensky.”
In a matter of days, Pelosi, 82, will relinquish the speaker’s gavel and step down from social gathering management after 20 years. In 2006, she turned the primary lady elected speaker, after serving 4 years as minority chief. Final month, after Republicans retook the Home majority within the midterm elections, Pelosi announced that the hour had come “for a brand new era” to guide the Democratic caucus. She’s going to stay a lawmaker representing the San Francisco space.
In farewell speeches and occasions, Pelosi has spent the previous few weeks emphasizing the significance of defending democracy, turning a lame-duck session of Congress into her swan tune of types as a foil towards former president Donald Trump. She opened her remaining information convention Thursday thanking reporters, calling them “guardians of democracy,” a pointy distinction to Trump’s assaults on the press.
Her remarks additionally got here simply earlier than a remaining report was set to be launched by the Home choose committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, rebellion, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol looking for to cease the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral win.
“The 117th Congress started with a violent assault on our democracy, and now we hear its conclusions,” Pelosi stated. “We now have a significant highway map, making certain justice shall be achieved and that this received’t occur once more.”
As she usually does, Pelosi prevented calling out Trump particularly, as a substitute referring to him Thursday as “what’s his identify” when itemizing the presidents she has labored with. The 2 had a famously tumultuous relationship when Trump was in workplace, a stress that birthed a thousand memes, as Pelosi challenged him in the White House, clapped at him wryly and tore up a copy of his third State of the Union speech.
The animosity was returned in orders of magnitude from Trump and his supporters. Footage from the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection confirmed that, whereas rioters strode by the Capitol’s hallways with bear spray and physique armor in the hunt for Pelosi — yelling “The place are you, Nancy?” and “Carry her out!” — she remained calm as she made efforts to succeed in the Nationwide Guard and procure the protection of her fellow lawmakers.
Nonetheless, when requested Thursday to replicate on her time as social gathering chief, Pelosi stated her most tough job was not wrangling votes for the 2010 Reasonably priced Care Act or making an attempt to remain secure throughout an assault on the Capitol. As a substitute, she cited being a minority chief alongside a Democratic president and having to persuade her caucus members to maintain a presidential veto towards GOP laws.
“The Republicans would roll out stuff that appeared like a chocolate sundae, however it’s extra like doggy doo,” she stated. “So I’d moderately be writing the Reasonably priced Care Act or some other huge laws than to should go to my members and say, ‘My good friend, in friendship, I really want your vote to maintain the president’s veto.’ That was the toughest.”
Pelosi stated she had not had any formal conversations with Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who’s looking for to turn into Home speaker subsequent yr, however stated she didn’t assume anybody wanted her recommendation.
“You’ve heard me say even about our personal distinguished management. I’m not going to be the mother-in-law who is available in and says, that is the way in which my son likes his turkey, stuffing, his scrambled eggs or anything. They should have their very own vitality about all of it. They usually do,” Pelosi stated. “I’m simply hoping that on Jan. third that they’ll be expeditiously capable of elect a speaker in order that we are able to get on with the work of the Congress.”
Pelosi acknowledged that she can be transitioning from a task that comes with “superior energy” to at least one with nonetheless “sturdy,” if subtler affect, significantly on girls who may wish to run for workplace. Pelosi recalled how, when she arrived in Congress in 1987, there have been solely 23 girls within the Home out of 435 lawmakers.
“I would like girls to have faith,” Pelosi stated. “So generally after I act somewhat extra, let’s say, like myself, it’s as a result of I would like them to understand it’s okay to say your self, to have faith in what you convey to the desk, and likewise to know your uniqueness.”
Pelosi ended by citing President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration speech, which she stated she recalled attending within the “freezing chilly.” Most individuals keep in mind the penultimate sentence, she stated, recalling Kennedy’s speech: “Ask not what your nation can do for you, however what you are able to do for our nation.” However Pelosi stated it was the following sentence that struck her: “Ask not what America will do for you, however what collectively we are able to do for the liberty of man.”
She has advised Biden that he has fulfilled in so some ways what Kennedy was signaling in his potential to rally worldwide help for Ukraine.
“Working along with the entire international locations to return collectively to help Ukraine, not by dictating what we predict is the way in which to go, however by listening, working collectively so that everyone felt dedicated to a plan for the liberty of mankind,” Pelosi stated. “And that’s how I tie being there as my father’s daughter on the inauguration to what occurred this week and what our tasks are later.”