Veteran DC reporter and Washington Bureau chief of USA TODAY, Susan Page, has a new book coming out about Nancy Pelosi and she gets Pelosi to go on record with her thoughts about Trump.
According to the book, “Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power,” when realized Donald Trump would win the presidency she said she had a physical reaction, it was physical; it was actually physical,” she told Page. “Like a mule kicking you in the back over and over again.”
“I was like, ‘How could it be that person is going to be president of the United States?’” Pelosi said. “That was saddening, but the election of Donald Trump was stunningly scary, and it was justified to be scared. How could they elect such a person – who talked that way about women, who was so crude and to me, creepy.”
Nadeam Elshami, Pelosi’s chief of staff, told the staff after Trump’s historic win: “Everybody can cry. You can let it out now. Look, this is where we are. We have a new president. We have a job to do. The leader has a job to do.”
About the GOP losing the House in 2018 Trump said correctly: “I’ll be honest with you, if the Democrats get in, I think I’ll be able to work with them,” Trump said to a reporter at the time. “They need me. They don’t want to sit there and for two years do nothing. They want to get things passed.”
Trump proved right and got Pelosi to help him pass the new NAFTA when Paul Ryan would not budge.
Here’s how she described her job fighting the Trump admin: “Every day I’m like, ‘Don a suit of armor, put on your brass knuckles, eat nails for breakfast, and go out there and stop them from taking children out of the arms of their parents, food out of the mouths of babies. I mean, it’s just the way it is.”
“The one thing that I understood about Nancy fairly quickly was the fact that she was as tough or tougher than anybody in the world,” Obama told Page. “There are times that I think we underestimate just that kind of being able to grind and grit it out, and she has that kind of capacity.”
From The USA Today:
To the astonishment of Pelosi and just about everyone else in American politics, of course, her moment wasn’t over. When the returns were counted, the new president would be real estate magnate and reality TV star Donald Trump.
Like it or not, Pelosi would keep her standing as the most powerful woman in American political history for a while longer, and one whose personal plans, known only to her confidantes, had just been upended. She had intended to step back from elective office once Hillary was in the White House. That idea was instantly shelved.
She was crushed that Hillary Clinton had lost. The two women had known each other since they met at the Democratic National Convention in 1984, when Pelosi was chair of the San Francisco host committee and Clinton was the wife of the up-and-coming governor of Arkansas. After Bill Clinton was elected president, they had occasionally clashed, notably over Hillary Clinton’s decision to address the United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. “She was really against my going,” Clinton told me; Pelosi argued it sent the wrong signal at a time when Chinese American human rights activist Harry Wu had been arrested.
But over the years they had worked in concert on Democratic politics and policy, and Pelosi had long been an advocate for more women in public office. They shared a certain kinship. Both women were trailblazers who had been attacked and caricatured by their critics.
In 2016, Nancy Pelosi was delighted by the prospect of turning over the most-powerful-woman mantle to a President Hillary Clinton.
At the time, few knew that Pelosi was making plans for the 2016 election to be her valedictory. (To be fair, some of those close to her questioned whether she actually would have followed through if Clinton had won.) After three decades as a congresswoman from California, nearly half of that time as the leader of the House Democrats, Pelosi said she was getting ready to take a breath, dote on her nine grandchildren, perhaps write her memoirs.
At seventy-six years old, she was well past the retirement age for almost every workplace except Congress. With Hillary Clinton in the White House, Pelosi could be confident that the causes she had fought for would be protected, especially the Affordable Care Act that she had pushed through Congress against all odds.
After Nancy Pelosi left the PBS studio, she dropped by the headquarters of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Capitol Hill, then joined a poll-watching party for big donors at Maryland representative John Delaney’s town house nearby. She was on her cell phone, tracking key House races, when she began to get an inkling about what was happening.
She checked in with Pennsylvania congressman Bob Brady, a big-city pol in the mold of Pelosi’s father, who had been a three-term mayor of Baltimore. In their first conversation that night, he was upbeat. Democrats always needed a big edge from the Philadelphia vote to carry the state, and he assured her they would deliver it. In their second conversation, he struck a note of caution. “We’re going to get our vote,” he told her, but “there’s a lot coming in for the rest of the state [that was] not so good.”
“Then he called and said, ‘It’s not going to happen here,’ ” Pelosi recalled, a conversation that took her breath away.