Imagine a version of 2021 where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is enjoying retirement after a life in public service and away from the political scene for the past five years.
According to the Washington Examiner, that was reportedly close to reality as a new book by Washington bureau chief of USA Today Susan Page revealed that the veteran California Democrat was ready to throw in the towel had former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton secured a victory in the 2016 election, as she was heavily predicted to do until former President Donald Trump stole her moment in a surprise win.
“It changed her life”
In Page’s upcoming book, Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power, the author drew knowledge of Pelosi’s personal life from a number of interviews she conducted with the House Speaker, along with personal accounts from over 150 of Pelosi’s friends, family members, associates and even some of her political adversaries.
One specific excerpt from the book raised eyebrows, as Page revealed that some of the people closest to the seasoned politician believed that if Clinton would have emerged with a victory in 2016, Pelosi was leaning toward retirement, knowing that her legislative agenda would have been protected.
“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 wrote.
Page went on to reveal that Pelosi was “horrified” after learning that Trump swooped in for a last-minute election win at the time, which Page claims had a far greater impact on Pelosi than her disappointment that Clinton lost.
Pelosi reportedly expressed to Page that Trump’s victory was like “a mule kicking you in the back over and over again,” describing the feeling as “actually physical.”
Will she retire?
After serving a staggering 18 terms in the lower chamber, representing the 12th Congressional District in California, there aren’t any rumors or buzz from recent reports which would indicate that the 81-year-old politician has any immediate plans of retiring.
However, according to Politico, after Democrats failed to experience the promised “blue wave” of new House seats in the 2020 election, Pelosi made clear that if she were elected Speaker once more, it would be her last in that capacity.
Whether or not that means she’ll remain in Congress is anyone’s guess, but at her age, retirement is presumably looking more enticing by the day. She also has yet to reveal whether or not she’ll seek a 19th congressional term in the 2022 midterm elections.
Given that at this point in time so many pundits believe that Republicans stand an increasingly likely chance of taking back majority control of the House in 2022, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Pelosi bows out, as it’s unlikely she’ll have any desire to take a backseat to a Republican Speaker.
Only time will tell how and when Pelosi will end her career, but since she’s embraced the radical, progressive elements of her party over the past four years or so, for many, her retirement can’t come soon enough.