Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent trips to Ukraine, Taiwan, and Armenia are being seen as a “swan song” among prognosticators, potentially capping a historic four congressional terms as Speaker of the House.
Ever since your San Francisco congressional representative Nancy Pelosi announced she was running for a 19th consecutive term in the House in January, Pelosi-watchers in the press have been parlor-gaming whether she would run for another term as Speaker if the Democrats manage to hold the House, and whether she might even leave Congress entirely. Either way, this is the twilight of her Congressional career that started way back in 1987.
The latest speculation comes today in The Hill, which sizes up her recent spate of international trips, some quite controversial, as the possible “swan song” of Nancy Pelois’s career. The Hill notes that the trips have “raised plenty of questions about whether her world tour is pure diplomacy, power politics or the swan song of a historic Speaker who may be readying an exit from Capitol Hill.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky awarded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a Ukrainian civil honor — the Order of Princess Olga — following their meeting in Kyiv, a decoration given to women who have made outstanding contributions to the Ukrainian state.https://t.co/Ygpud8S5ha— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 1, 2022
This all started in May with her admittedly ballsy unannounced trip to war-torn Ukraine where she met with President Zelensky. She wasn’t alone, she had Reps. Adam Schiff amd other congressional reps with her. But it was one hell of a photo op that she became the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the country after the Russian invasion.
By traveling to Taiwan, we honor our commitment to democracy: reaffirming that the freedoms of Taiwan — and all democracies — must be respected.— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 2, 2022
Read my opinion piece in the @washingtonpost on why I’m leading a Congressional delegation to Taiwan.https://t.co/tLhIzvfkTH
Then in August, she intentionally created an international incident by visiting Taiwan, purposefully aggravating the Chinese government. The Pentagon specifically told her not to go, and President Biden would have preferred she didn’t. This actively courted personal danger, but she called the Chinese military’s bluff successfully, as all they did was pout with provocative but performative military drills.
From America to Armenia, we must have security and freedom to win the fight for Democracy over autocracy. -NP pic.twitter.com/3QwVfpCuFo— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) September 18, 2022
Last week she visited Armenia to condemn “illegal and deadly attacks” by that country's feuding neighbor Azerbaijan. It was not as provocative as the intentional eyepokes toward China and Russia, but folks, you won’t see Kevin McCarthy pulling human rights trips like this if he’s elected Speaker.
It may all mean the end of her second tour of duty as Speaker of the House of Representatives. She’s not the first representative to lose the Speaker’s gavel and later win it back, but she’s the first woman to ever get that gavel. And her high-profile international trips may be a sign she’s not anticipating holding that gavel much longer.
Image: WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 22: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill September 22, 2022 in Washington, DC. Pelosi spoke on a wide range of issues, including the House's recent passage of the Presidential Election Reform Act. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)