Opinion | Pelosi exemplifies sincere leadership


Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor

Nancy Pelosi engages in an equal pay discussion with former Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez on April 14, 2015. Columnist Storey Childs argues that Pelosi embodies the ideas of sincere leadership.

By Storey Childs, Columnist

The 118th Congress has had a turbulent first month as the majority shifted from the Democratic to the Republican party. 

Congressman Kevin McCarthy was elected speaker after a dramatic 15 ballots of split Republicans. On the other side of the aisle, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries was elected as minority leader of the Democratic caucus.

Such power shifts can have a dramatic flare, especially on a national level. But something significant happened just months earlier to set the stage for what was to come: Nancy Pelosi stepped down from her position in Democratic leadership, a position that she had held for two decades

Despite her decision being met with mixed sentiments from those around her — and possibly everyone else who has followed her career — her decision was the correct one. 

Why is that? It was a move that exemplified real leadership.

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Pelosi has called the House chamber home for more than 35 years. She has served as Speaker of the House as the first and only woman in the role and has been a symbol of female leadership in the Democratic caucus for almost 20 years. 

But the most important way to understand leadership is to look at one’s choices, as well as how one conducts themselves. Individual interest and true leadership can look very different. 

Take Congressman George Santos, who has repeatedly appeared in the news recently. Santos ran a campaign of complete dishonesty during his bid for New York’s third Congressional district. His many lies range from his educational background and various business ventures.

And yet, he has been elected to Congress, placed on committees and has the Speaker of the House defending him and his call to serve. 

Even if you haven’t been keeping up with Santos’ chain of lies, it is easy to tell that he is a classic example of a self-interested politician. 

The same cannot be said about Pelosi. Whether it’s healthcare legislation, voting rights or other sweeping legislation, Pelosi has proven herself as a leader. 

But one of the strongest acts of Pelosi’s leadership is her decision to take the leadership that she has rightfully — and legally — earned, and pass it on.

The difference is distinct and the intent is clear.

As power in the House shifts, Pelosi’s time in the limelight comes to a close and gives rise to new leaders of the Democratic party. It is now the time for the next generation of Democrat lawmakers, such as Jeffries, to implement policies for the greater good — just like Pelosi.

As these shifts occur, it is important to notice sincere leadership when we see it. And we must remember that the right decisions are often the hardest to make.

“A new day is dawning on the horizon, and I look forward, always forward, to the unfolding story of our nation,” said Pelosi as she stood on the House floor, announcing her departure from the leadership. “And always an unfinished mission to make the dreams of today the reality of tomorrow.” 

Nancy Pelosi has given her life to service and she continues to do so. She just decided that somebody else should do it, in the hopes that they may do it even better. 


Storey is a junior in LAS

[email protected]