Nancy Pelosi leaves the leadership of the Democrats in the House of Representatives after losing the majority | US elections

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a September 30 press conference on Capitol Hill.KEVIN LAMARQUE (REUTERS)

Democrat Nancy Pelosi has been a permanent presence in the House of Representatives for the past two decades. She has been since she broke the glass ceiling as the first president of the chamber, and both in conditions favorable to her party and adverse to her: with a majority of seats and in a clear minority against the Republicans. She considered by many the speaker The most powerful in a century, she has risen and fallen from the podium as the electoral fluctuations unbalanced her own, as in 2010, or elevated them again, as happened in 2018. The veteran Democrat, dressed in white like the suffragettes, excited and nervous , has announced this Thursday that she will continue in the Chamber as a deputy, but without aspiring to any leadership. “It is time to usher in a new generation of Democrats,” she has said.

With the majority in Republican hands, the future of this former Californian housewife, a factotum of legislative life, hung in the balance, but not only for electoral reasons. The violent attack suffered by her husband, Paul Pelosi, on October 28, which sent him to the hospital with a fractured skull, will weigh more on her decision than the fate of her party at the polls, according to what she herself announced on the eve of the intermediates in an interview on CNN. Faced with those who believe that the slow recovery of Paul Pelosi will push her to leave politics, others point out that she does not intend to throw in the towel due to the action of an ultra conspiracy, the one who brandished the hammer against her husband when he could not find her to vent his fury. However, she also pointed out that such an event could discourage other women from entering politics. “When I came to the House, in 1987, there were three Democratic women, today there are more than 90 ″, she said in her speech.

The hypothesis of a probable retirement, almost forced in addition to his 82 years, therefore threatened to put an end to his bulging service record, in which critics of the progressive wing point out a weak point: his skepticism regarding the two processes of impeachment (political trial) to which Donald Trump was subjected, to which she resisted for fear of unpredictable consequences. Pelosi feared that this process would open the box of thunder and take away the dwindling collaboration between banks in a country that is increasingly polarized, more aggressive, a climate of rising political violence of which the attack on her husband Paul is good proof. , not the only one.

They have not been easy years for her at the head of the Chamber. In her first term (2007-2011) because of the Great Recession; in the second, since January 2019, for both impeachment to the republican; the assault on the Capitol by a Trumpist horde on January 6, 2021, and the special committee investigation into the attack. According to the book Unchecked: The Untold Story Behind Congress's Botched Impeachments of Donald Trumpby Rachael Bade and Karoun Demirjian, Pelosi backed down, with a corresponding delay, in the impeachments not because they considered that the Republican was not worthy of scrutiny, but because they feared that the trial "would become a political boomerang that, once launched, could not be controlled." “He feared that by going after Trump he would jeopardize his hard-won majority, and might even give Trump a second term,” the authors explain in a review of his book, published in October, in Political.

Controversial role in Trump's impeachment

Black on white, the at least 10 times that Trump committed obstruction of justice during the investigation of the Russian plot, according to the extensive report by special counsel Robert Mueller in 2019, were not enough for Pelosi, the third authority of a nation at the time under a Republican presidency, I saw it clearly; neither did the pressure of his fellow Democrats. Giving priority to politics over the investigation of the facts – those related to Russian interference in the elections that gave Trump victory in 2016 – was a decision discussed, and often little understood, by his people.

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Pelosi has always given evidence of autonomy of judgment, such as when last summer, despite warnings from the White House – a Democrat this time – she traveled to Taiwan at the head of a delegation of congressmen, causing a new diplomatic crisis with Beijing; a gesture in which some saw the carelessness of someone who sees the exit close. But his autonomy is also responsible for his achievements, according to his defenders. She paved the way for consensus in representative politics, becoming one of the most skillful negotiators in the Democratic Party. In her first term as speaker leading the House, she helped pass a minimum wage hike, prevent a Wall Street crash, expand a children's health insurance program, Obamacare and the financial services law review, with the country mired in the Great Recession. In her second term, President Joe Biden owes her the consensus, forged by the corridors and offices of the Capitol, around the infrastructure law and the aid plan to remedy the impact of the covid. Probably, too, from a rare bipartisan, timid but promising gun control deal.

A formidable fundraiser, a Catholic defender of the right to free choice in the case of abortion, always wearing a rigorous black mantilla on her visits to the Vatican; Openly opposed to the Iraq war, Pelosi is toughness personified. For the good, but also for the bad, according to his detractors, who saw in his reluctance to impeach Trump a reduction in the capacity of Congress as a counterweight to the excesses of the Republican, that supervision in which many deposited their health of democracy when Trump was elected. Nobody had a end of party as horrifying as the assault on the Capitol, instigated by Trump to prevent the proclamation of his rival Joe Biden as president, and that Pelosi herself experienced in person, as shown by the video of the roar of the attack that was released in mid-October: the maximum authority on site He tried to ensure that the institutional framework was not aborted by the Trumpist spiral of anger and hatred.

Pelosi has been everything among Democrats: head of the national committee, the command bridge of the party; plumber, baroness and cashier, a machine to get donations in a country where she usually wins the candidate with the most financial support. When she recovered the gavel, in 2018, she did so with the vague promise of leaving office at the end of 2022. Four years later, there are already names to relieve her on the opposing bench, but none to assume command of the new Democratic minority of the Camera. “She has shown more organization and muscle, by really tight margins, than I would have thought possible,” Republican Newt Gingrich, her frequent antagonist, said of her last year. “You could say that she has been the president [de la Cámara] most powerful in history.

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