Guest Opinion: Farewell, Nancy Pelosi
Beijing [China], December 11: On Nov. 16, Republicans clinched its 218th seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, winning enough seats for House majority. As Nancy Pelosi announced she will step down from her congressional leadership, her time as the speaker of the House is running out. With her seven-year career as House speaker coming to an end, the question is, how will she be remembered?
If partisanship is toxic in U.S. politics, Pelosi must be a sophisticated poisoner. During her years as House speaker, especially when Republican presidents were in power, Pelosi proved to be one of the most head-aching troublemakers -- she pushed partisanship in U.S. politics to a new height.
When George W. Bush was in office, Pelosi had her bitter fight with the president and even publicly described Bush as "incompetent," "a liar," and "the emperor with no clothes." After Donald Trump came into power in 2016, partisanship in the United States turned into an ugly fight with no bottom line. In 2019, the re-elected Speaker Pelosi led a standoff on an appropriations bill aimed to fund the operations of the federal government, resulting in a record-long 35-day shutdown of some federal government agencies, which cost the U.S. economy approximately 11 billion U.S. dollars.
Even more ridiculously, to express her personal sentiments toward Trump, Pelosi tore up a copy of Trump's 2020 State of the Union address in front of Congress after he delivered the speech. Shortly after that, Pelosi started her relentless impeachment inquiry into Trump. And in her farewell address, she even intentionally skipped Trump when she recalled the names of the presidents she had worked with.
POLITICAL GOLD DIGGER
As one of the richest politicians on Capitol Hill, Pelosi has a prominent ability to make money. Punchbowl News, an online political news daily based in Washington, D.C., reported that she "has raised an eye-popping 1.6 billion dollars since she joined leadership as House minority whip 20 years ago."
According to The Hill, a Washington-based American newspaper with a focus on politics, policy, business and international relations, she raised "some 45.7 million dollars for Democrats in the first three months of 2022."
Nevertheless, she does not just earn money for her party. Insider, a financial news website, estimated that the Pelosi family is worth at least 46,123,051 dollars. "The vast majority of the couple's wealth is derived from stocks, options, and investments," the website noted.
Back in 2008, it was reported that she had paid her husband's real estate and investment firm nearly 100,000 dollars from her political action committee "PAC to the Future."
Although Pelosi recently noted in public that she doesn't own stocks herself and affirmed that members of Congress have a "responsibility to report," her venture-capitalist husband Paul Pelosi enjoys a widespread reputation of "fortune teller" in the stock market. From selling out airline stocks and buying in Zoom before the COVID-19 pandemic to owning NVIDIA stocks before the adoption of the CHIPS Act, Paul Pelosi frequently adjusted his portfolio of stocks at the right time.
Indeed, good investors may sometimes outperform the market. The first time it might be a coincidence, a second time good luck, and a third time, however, is probably a scandal. Maybe only Pelosi herself knows what role she has played in her family's "way to fortune."
Throughout her career, Pelosi has been intent on fiercely attacking China to gain public exposure. In August, she made her high-profile junket to Taiwan, fantasizing about winning over swing voters by playing tough on China.
However, the harsh reality proved that it didn't help secure her seat. Pelosi's Taiwan show seemed to be more like a political funeral, rather than a highlight moment of her career. As many U.S. citizens tweeted, few of them understand why U.S. politicians insist on visiting Taiwan and most people barely care whether they go or not. What these people do notice is that due to her visit, the rupture between the United States and China has deepened.
Some media outlets described her trip as "a foreign policy disaster" that puts nearly all stakeholders in the region in peril. And her last dance of Taiwan gambit only added a label of being "reckless, dangerous and irresponsible" to her political legacy.
It also proved that building a straw man around the so-called "China threat" and taking a hard line on China could not distract people's attention from poor domestic performance. It will only end up as a self-entertaining game that stands no chance of winning votes for a party.
As the former House speaker, Pelosi has spoken for her party, her family and herself, but seldom for her fellow citizens of the United States. At a time of unprecedented political division, polarization and confrontation, the legacy Pelosi has left is in no sense something to be proud of. Hopefully, her successors will draw a real lesson here.