By: Nessa Purdy
Former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has announced her campaign for re-election in 2024. Pelosi, aged 83, served two terms as Speaker, from 2007 to 2011 and from 2019 to 2023. Pelosi was the first woman to lead a major political party in Congress. In November of 2022, Pelosi announced she would step down from her position as Speaker after Democrats lost their house majority. However, Pelosi continues to represent San Francisco in Congress, a position she has held for over 35 years.
Pelosi is commonly credited with ushering in former President Obama’s Affordable Care Act in 2010. She also worked closely with President Joe Biden to marshall bills concerning climate change and global warming. Pelosi is famously known to oppose former President Donald Trump and publicly supports his indictment, stating, “The indictments against the president are exquisite.” In 2020, Pelosi notoriously tore up Trump’s State of the Union Address behind his back.
On Oct. 28, 2022, David DePape attempted to kidnap Pelosi from her San Francisco home. Instead, Pelosi’s husband, the then 82 year old Paul Pelosi, met DePape at the door. DePape beat P. Pelosi with a hammer, leaving him severely injured. San Francisco police apprehended DePape, and he will go to trial on Nov. 9.
When asked if she had decided whether to retire her position in Congress after the attack, Pelosi replied, “I have to say, my decision will be affected by what happened the last week or two.”
After Pelosi’s decision to step down as Speaker, speculation that she would completely retire after the 2024 midterm elections arose. However, on Aug. 8, Pelosi formally announced her re-election campaign on X. The post read, “Our country needs America to show the world that our flag is still there, with liberty and justice for ALL. That is why I am running for re-election — and respectfully ask for your vote. -Nancy.” President Biden has consistently supported Pelosi, calling her “the most consequential Speaker of the House of Representatives in our history.”
Pelosi’s decision to run for a 19th term conflicts with the current debate regarding the age of elected officials. Recent incidents surrounding current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell freezing up and discussions about President Biden’s age have sparked discussions about capping elected officials’ ages. Pelosi’s re-election campaign was met with immediate backlash, with many claiming she is too old to be elected again, and that her taking office would be selfish. Current Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley denounced the U.S Congress, calling it a “privileged nursing home.” The current political climate begs the question of whether or not Pelosi’s age will affect her success in upcoming elections.
(Sources: Politico,BBC, The Guardian, CNN)