An excerpt from journalist Susan Page’s biography of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) titled Madame Speaker shows Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have an icy relationship.
“Mitch McConnell is not a force for good in our country,” Pelosi is quoted as saying. “He is an enabler of some of the worst stuff, and an instigator of some of it on his own.”
Pelosi also referred to McConnell by the moniker “Moscow Mitch” in response to his penchant for killing legislation from the House. Pelosi also knows that it bothers him––McConnell complained about the moniker in September 2019 after critics accused him of being allied with the Kremlin for striking down Democratic and bipartisan legislation.
“It’s an effort to smear me,” he told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt at the time. “You know, I can laugh about things like the Grim Reaper, but calling me Moscow Mitch is over the top.” McConnell likened the moniker to “McCarthyism” and implied the attack is characteristic of the left-wing. “This is what we’re up against with the hard left today in America,” he said.
The relationship between Pelosi and McConnell continued to decline after McConnell moved to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat following the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and declined to have Ginsburg lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda.
“McConnell rejected the idea on the grounds that there was no precedent for such treatment of a justice. When William Howard Taft had lain in state in 1930, he had been not only the chief justice but also president, McConnell noted,” Page writes. “He wasn’t swayed by the argument that Ginsburg had achieved an iconic status in American culture, especially for women and girls. McConnell’s refusal meant that Ginsburg’s flag-draped coffin was placed not in the Rotunda, which connects the House and Senate, but in Statuary Hall, on the House side.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.