Imagine being a Democrat on election night in 2016, knowing that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a relatively easy election win virtually in the bag, only to wake up the next morning and find out that then-candidate Donald Trump swooped in for a last-minute, presidential victory.
According to The Hill, that shocking turn of events early the next morning disrupted the plans of many, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who was reportedly set to retire until Trump pulled off the impossible and took down a political goliath at the last second.
Susan Page of USA Today revealed in her new book that the California lawmaker — and the most powerful woman in government at the time — was ready to throw in the towel after decades of public service and focus on spending time with the family and doing typical retirement activities.
“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,” Page wrote.
Page’s book, titled “Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power,” summarizes 10 interviews with Pelosi and another 150 interviews with those closest to the longtime Democratic leader.
The author revealed that Pelosi was comfortable with putting in for retirement knowing that Clinton, a staunch ally and believer in the same brand of policy, would protect Pelosi’s legislative legacy and continue to defend and push it when necessary.
Page said that the lawmaker, who was in her late seventies at the time of the 2016 election, felt a “physical” shock when it was announced that Trump pulled off the impossible.
However, other friends close to the Speaker doubted that she would have actually retired at the time, as even with her age and tenure in public service, it presumably wouldn’t have been easy to give up.
While there are no rumors that Pelosi has plans of retiring in the near future, according to Roll Call, she indicated after the 2020 election that her current term of Speaker in the 117th Congress will be her last in a leadership position.