SPEAKER PELOSI RIPS STATE OF UNION SPEECH — DURING SPEECH
It’s been a rough few months for Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She was dragged unwillingly into impeaching the president, and it has damaged her brand badly.
In October, she accused the president of bribery. Then it was Ukraine and the quid pro quo talking points. Then it was a cover up.
She could have kept the impeachment articles in her pocket in December, but didn’t.
And then, she invited the president to give his State of the Union address, timing the impeachment proceedings to lead up to it for maximum damage.
When he arrived in the House of Representatives on Tuesday night, he was greeted by cheers from Republicans, who shouted “Four more years!” and by the sullen faces of Democrat women lawmakers, dressed in white and sitting silent during nearly every part of his speech.
He approached his podium and handed both Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Pelosi copies of his speech. Pelosi reached our her right hand to shake Trump’s hand, but he kept moving. He wasn’t going to honor a phony gesture.
In the end of the nearly hourlong speech, Pelosi organized her copy of the speech into three distinct piles, and waited.
As Trump nearly finished his eloquent remarks with uplifting and hopeful words that inspired his base, Pelosi prepared to pounce. She stood. He was not quite done saying “God bless America,” when she ripped up the speech, section by section.
She told reporters, “Because it was a courteous thing to do considering the alternative. It was such a dirty speech.”
The White House responded on Twitter:
Speaker Pelosi just ripped up: One of our last surviving Tuskegee Airmen. The survival of a child born at 21 weeks. The mourning families of Rocky Jones and Kayla Mueller. A service member’s reunion with his family. That’s her legacy. – The White House
Pelosi had sat dour during much of the remarks, which were perhaps the most poetic and well-delivered of Trump’s career. Her guest in the gallery, Fred Guttenberg, was ejected by security for an outburst. His daughter was killed in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla. in 2018. “What about my daughter?” Guttenberg yelled during the speech, before being removed from the room.
Trump hit all the right points, from the right to life, school choice, Second Amendment, legal immigration, building infrastructure, planting trees, family leave, military strength, jobs for all, cheaper medicine, and the strongest economy in history. His words were soaring and statesmanlike, and he did not shoot across the bow of the impeachment leaders in the room, but ignored his impeachment entirely. Across the country, the response from conservatives was largely positive, with many lauding him for giving conservative talk show personality Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Democrats groaned audibly during that ceremony, as Melania Trump placed the medal around Limbaugh’s neck.
Meanwhile, things were already going badly for the Democrats in other parts of the country, something surely on Pelosi’s mind. The Iowa Caucus on Monday was a pageant of incompetence, and results were still coming in late on Tuesday, but under a cloud of suspicion by most candidates.
Joe Biden, who Pelosi backs, was doing poorly, attracting just 15 percent of the vote, with 71 percent of precincts reporting.
It also became evident this week that the Senate would not convict the president of the charges put forth by the Democrats in the House. On Monday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski issued a stinging rebuke of the work done in the House, and on Tuesday, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine also said the House had failed in its duties, and she would vote to acquit.
For icing on the cake of this very bad week, on Wednesday, Pelosi will face yet another crushing defeat as the Senate holds its final vote and acquits the president.