Nancy Pelosi resigns: ‘Time for a younger generation’

Status: 18.11.2022 00:53

Nancy Pelosi was the first woman to chair the US House of Representatives – now she is handing over the leadership of the Democrats in the House of Representatives. With her parting words, she called for a determined fight for democracy.

By Katrin Brand, ARD Studio Washington

It’s best not to mess with Nancy Pelosi, as a reporter discovered a few years ago. “Do you hate the President?” he called out to her after a press conference. She doesn’t hate anyone, Pelosi said in what appeared to be cold anger as she jabbed her index finger in his direction. On the contrary – she was brought up in such a way that her heart was full of love, said the devout Catholic. She always prays for the President.

In this case, the president was the then head of state Donald Trump, whom she fought to the best of her ability during his four years in office. “The president must be held accountable, no one is above the law.” That was her creed.

Trump, in turn, got personal. She was a terrible person, “crazy Nancy,” he called her, she was losing her mind.

“American democracy is fragile”

For Pelosi, Trump may have been the personified attack on what is important to her: democracy. American democracy is sublime, but also fragile, said the 82-year-old in her farewell speech. She asked her colleagues:

Establish justice, ensure internal tranquillity, provide defence, promote prosperity, and preserve the blessings of liberty for us and posterity, our children.

As the first woman to head the House of Representatives

Family is also the most important thing in life for Pelosi. The Italian-American, who comes from the industrial city of Baltimore and moved to California with her husband, has five children.

In the late 1980s she went into politics. Her topics: environmental protection, gun laws, social justice. In 2002 she was the first woman to be elected party leader. In 2007 she became the first Speaker of the House of Representatives. That made her number three in the state, behind the president and his vice president.

Launched impeachment proceedings against Trump

Daughter Alexandra once described Pelosi’s leadership style as follows:

She cuts off your head and you don’t even realize you’re bleeding.”

Pelosi held the Democratic faction together, secured majorities and shaped politics. She saved ex-President Barack Obama’s health care reform and she launched the two impeachment proceedings against Trump – quite reluctantly because she feared another division in the country.

But in the end Trump gave them no choice, democracy is at stake, she said. In 2019, she opened the case because Trump had pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to obtain material against the Biden family. And again in 2021 after Trump called for the election to be overturned. In the end, both procedures failed in the second chamber, the Senate.

Focus on own constituency

Two years ago, she indicated that she would soon be retiring. The brutal attack on her husband a few weeks ago should have confirmed her.

Pelosi is downright hated by the far right in the US. Now she wants to focus on her constituency in San Francisco. There she has always won a whopping majority.

Generational change: Nancy Pelosi resigns

Katrin Brand, ARD Washington, 11/17/2022 11:13 p.m

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