Former President Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 election changed the course of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s career, according to a new book.
As Susan Page, a Washington bureau chief of USA Today, would tell it, the California Democrat was on the verge of retiring when Hillary Clinton lost to the brash businessman.
“Unknown to most, she had been seriously contemplating retirement in 2016 when the unexpected election of Trump changed her mind. Now, whatever her shortcomings, she seemed to be precisely the right person at the right time,” Page writes in Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power, which will be published April 20 by Twelve Books.
“Trump’s improbable victory changed his life and the country’s trajectory. It changed her life as well,” Page also wrote.
Page conducted 10 interviews with Pelosi for the biography and interviewed more than 150 other friends, family members, political allies, and adversaries, according to a description published by her outlet.
“Her political instincts — nobody I ever worked with had any better instincts,” Rep. Tim Ryan told Page in 2020. The Ohio Democrat challenged Pelosi for the leadership role in 2016.
Pelosi, 81, is serving her 18th term in Congress, representing the 12th Congressional District in California, which includes much of San Francisco. She was House minority leader when Trump won in 2016. Thanks to the so-called “Blue Wave” in the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats took back control of the lower chamber and she reascended to the role of speaker at the beginning of 2019. She was previously speaker from 2007 to 2011.
According to Page, Pelosi was “horrified” that Trump won, outweighing her being “disappointed” that Clinton lost.
That feeling “was physical; it was actually physical,” Pelosi told Page. “Like a mule kicking you in the back over and over again.”
Trump lost to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election, and while the Democrats maintain control of the legislature, too, their grasp on the House has slipped. Pelosi narrowly won a fourth term with the speaker’s gavel in January. She has not said whether she will run for reelection in 2022.
Original Author: Daniel Chaitin
Original Location: Trump victory disrupted Pelosi’s plans to retire: Book