Master of Shade.
Queen of Shade.
Speaker of Shade.
In Pelosi, Trump has something he has never had. A person – a woman, at that – who challenges, frustrates and frequently doles out plenty of strategic shade. For a man who laps up and feeds on the adoration of cheering crowds – and who has cowed former rivals such as Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz – the charismatic Pelosi reminds him that his power isn’t limitless. With every briefing and White House meeting, she flexes her own considerable power.
Five months after she got Trump to own the shutdown during an Oval Office meeting, their interactions and his frustrations, led Trump to walk off of his job, in the middle of the day, on the White House Lawn.
She then offered to pray for him. Ardently. And, perhaps a family intervention is in order? She mused that perhaps the President, unlike her, maybe wasn’t in charge of his own house. She questioned his work ethic. She waved off one of his top aides, insisting that she only deals with Trump.
“I’m not going to talk about her,” she said in response to a question about Kellyanne Conway. “I responded as the speaker of the House to the President of the United States. Other conversations people want to have among themselves is up to them.”
Because that’s what Pelosi does. And Trump, who clearly respects (fears?) Pelosi because of her power, her wealth and her family lineage, is her most effective target.
The Politics of Us
She doles out shade, the kind that takes a little while to reveal itself. She goes on detours and tangents – in some cases about Jefferson and Roosevelt and Eisenhower and the Erie Canal – and then it becomes apparent that the path leads right to Shadytown. All the while, there is a kind of detached bemusement. A businesslike aloofness to the whole affair.
While Trump fumes, Pelosi gently waves a fan. It isn’t that she’s mad. Just disappointed.
These are classic Jedi-mind tricks, perfected by a woman who had five kids in six years. Five kids in six years.
“She has a way of delivering her message to the intended without rubbing their face in it – without directly telling them why she’s so disappointed,” said Nancy Corinne Prowda in an interview with The Washington Post about her mom. “It’d be better if she’d just get mad at you.”
And for Trump, Pelosi, in all of her dispassionate, unemotional glory, ends up being a giant red flag, a perfect foil.
She embodies what he has never had – a check on his behavior.