Late last month, the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee unanimously voted to confer the well-deserved designation “Speaker Emerita” upon Nancy Pelosi. The first woman ever to serve as Speaker of the House, Pelosi held that title from 2007 through 2011 and again when the Democrats regained the House in 2019.
Raised in Baltimore with a father who became the city’s mayor, Pelosi later joined the U.S. House of Representatives in 1987 and rose to the top thanks to her legislative savvy. Although Pelosi has proven her extraordinary political skills on countless occasions, there’s something particular about her qualifications that enabled her to handle Donald Trump as deftly as she did.
In a recent interview with CNN’s Jamie Gangel, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer offered his unique insight on this topic. Trump “ultimately was a child,” he explained. Connecting the dots, Schumer suggested that Pelosi “instinctively knew how to handle Trump” because she was experienced with “how to deal with children,” having raised five of them.
Gangel brought up moments Schumer witnessed first-hand, such as Pelosi’s seemingly mocking clap at Trump’s State of the Union in 2019, her ripping up Trump’s State of the Union speech the following year, and her standing up to confront Trump across the Cabinet Room table about troop withdrawal from Syria. Reflecting on those moments, Schumer revealed that he thought Trump “doesn’t stand a chance. He doesn’t know what he’s up against.”
Last month, James Robison, President of Life Outreach International, addressed the National Association of Christian Lawmakers about conservative social policy issues. The audience grew surprised when Robison informed them of criticism he made about Trump “straight into his face.” According to Robison, he chided: “Sir, you act like a little elementary school child, and you shoot yourself in the foot every morning you get up and open your mouth!”
Robison and Schumer’s recent insights are both spot on. Trump behaves like a child, and Pelosi was so successful in handling Trump in part because she understood this about him and applied her parenting skills and experience accordingly. Although Pelosi is stepping down as Speaker, we look forward to seeing the Speaker Emerita continue her fine work in the 118th Congress next year. Thank you, Nancy Pelosi.