Nancy Pelosi is a paragon of leadership

The Speaker of the House has decided to yield her leadership position to make way for a younger generation

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Editorials

November 18, 2022 - 2:07 PM

U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is surrouned by children as she wields the gavel for the first time after being elected Speaker of the House, becoming the first woman to hold that position, on January 4, 2006, in Washington, DC. (Chuck Kennedy/MCT)

Certain images from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nearly two decades of leading House Democrats stand out. There is Ms. Pelosi beaming as she called up to the dais all the children who had accompanied their parents to the House chamber, having them stand with her as she reclaimed the speaker’s gavel in 2019. There is Ms. Pelosi in the White House surrounded by male congressional leaders and top military officials as she stood up across the table and pointed her finger toward a stunned President Donald Trump. But the image that perhaps best sums up Ms. Pelosi is the footage of her on Jan. 6, 2021. As insurrectionists besieged the U.S. Capitol, Ms. Pelosi, with calm and quiet authority, made calls to get help and protect members of Congress so they could go back to work.

Doing the hard work of government — often behind the scenes — has defined Ms. Pelosi’s 35 years in Congress, propelling her to become the first female speaker of the House and one of the most consequential House leaders in the country’s history. On Thursday, Ms. Pelosi, 82, announced the end of an era with her decision to step down from Democratic Party leadership to make way for a new generation.

The announcement came a day after Republicans secured control of the House, prompting some critics to say it was easy for her to throw in the towel. But Ms. Pelosi has opted to remain in Congress to continue to represent her California district — unlike House speakers who left Congress when their party lost the majority — and that’s further testament to her lifelong dedication to public service.

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