House minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reacts as US President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017. Traditionally the first address to a joint session of Congress by a newly-elected president is not referred to as a State of the Union.

Something is Wrong with Nancy Pelosi

It’s becoming obvious to even disinterested observers that something is wrong with Nancy Pelosi. This isn’t a political jab. It isn’t even a let’s-have-a-laugh-at-someone-else’s-expense standard internet trolling. It’s actually serious.

Nearly every time the Democrat minority leader gets behind a microphone these days she struggles not just with stringing together rational thoughts, but with basic coherence. Take this most recent example:

Pelosi slammed the “actions of the Trump administration as relation — related to the rule of the law,” continuing, “The Trump administration and the Trump family have pa— eagerly ex— uh, intended to collude with a hostile foreign policy (sic).”  More: “Members of Congress take a sa— sacred oath.”  And more egregiously, “What do the Russians have politically, financially, uh, uh, or — and any — personally on Donald Trump that he fawns over Putin, uh, questions sanctions, uh —”


Yet again, “Uh — is — reckless when it comes to Article V.”  Then, this: “Today we are announcing a new coo-nated effort to force votes to get answers for the American people.”  And this:  “We will force Republicans to take votes on the record to continue, uh, from, from hiding the facts from the American people.”  Finally: “House Republicans will have to ask for their actions and one of the questions they will have — some of the questions they will have to answer will be posed by our colleagues …”

This bizarre episode happened just weeks after a similar scene unfolded at a 92nd Street Y event in New York:

Speaking about her father, Pelosi said, “He was part of a group called the Berkson Group and they did rallies and pageants and parades and um, and when he stood up on the floor of Congress, ‘I stand here as a representative of the—” she said before halting and staring at the audience.  Then she resumed, “members of the Jewish army.”


Moments later, while she was talking about a planning an agenda after losing four special elections, she said, “For us, we have to make sure that our members—-participate in that.”  A short time later, she froze as she was talking about the Republican healthcare overhaul bill.  “Home care— some, you know, people are at home but they still get care from, uh— from Medicaid,” she said, after momentarily staring at the audience and seemingly groping for words.  She added, “It will have a tremendous impact on what families can do for their children—” she said, continuing to motion with her hands with no words being said, before finally saying, “with relationship to what they need to do.”

As an increasing number of voices within her own party have called on Pelosi to retire or step out of leadership, these occurrences are not likely to help her cause. Then again, maybe they will. Pelosi is 77 years old and has six grandchildren that she clearly loves. Even when serving as Speaker of the House, Pelosi admitted in an interview,

“One of the hardest parts about being Speaker is not having as much time as I would like to spend with my grandchildren.”

Again, most conservatives would be completely fine with Pelosi remaining the face of the Democrat Party in Washington. It’s worked out well for their elective fortunes, as Senator Ted Cruz intimated in his Twitter plea that Democrats keep Pelosi as their Leader, “forever.”

But Nancy has been in Washington for three decades, which is plenty long for anyone. And her mind and body have certainly begun to show signs of exhaustion. There are more important things in life and it’s probably time that someone close to Mrs. Pelosi remind her of that. Soon.

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Peter Heck

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