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Media swoons over ‘badass’ Nancy Pelosi as top Dem announces leadership exit: Like a ‘great athlete’ retiring

The legacy media swooned over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who announced she will be stepping down from her leadership role. 

“This is like watching, you know, a great performer on the stage or a great athlete making a big decision about the next chapter,” CNN’s John King said ahead of her announcement. 

“It will be difficult to overstate the impact that Nancy Pelosi has left on our country and our politics,” MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace told viewers.

Former GOP lawmaker and “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough tweeted, “It was an honor working with @SpeakerPelosi in Congress. Even when we disagreed, I held her in the highest regard. I could have never imagined then the heroic efforts she would undertake in the coming years defending democracy against Trump Republicans. Thank God for Nancy.”

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New York Times editorial board member Michelle Cottle wrote, “History, being reductive, will remember Ms. Pelosi as the first woman to rise to the exalted post of speaker, just two steps away from the presidency. Those who have watched her work in the House for so many years will remember her as something arguably just as notable: a total badass.”

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“By that term, I don’t mean that Ms. Pelosi is some swaggering, performative tough guy. Quite the opposite,” Cottle told readers. “In her two decades atop the House Democratic caucus, whether in the majority or the minority, she has been a strikingly effective leader in part because she doesn’t much give a flip about her public image. What matters to her is getting stuff done — be it passing legislation, thwarting the opposition’s agenda or protecting her members come election time. She is brutally pragmatic… and has a shrewd sense of the political pressure points of allies and opponents alike. She doesn’t hog the credit for her clever ideas, nor does she waste time publicly rationalizing or blaming others for her bad ones. No one outworks her, and aides and allies have happily cultivated the legend of her endless energy.”

The Washington Post reported, “Her decision to not seek reelection as the top Democrat in Congress’s lower chamber marks the culmination of a political career widely seen as setting the standard for wielding political power. Historians largely agree that Pelosi redefined the speakership, and she made history climbing the ranks of Democratic leadership, becoming the first woman to be second in line to the presidency — twice.”

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The Post’s editorial board said Pelosi “conquered the male-dominated world of politics,” writing “Doing the hard work of government — often behind the scenes — has defined Ms. Pelosi’s 35 years in Congress, propelling her to become the first female speaker of the House and one of the most consequential House leaders in the country’s history.”

CBS News correspondent Scott MacFarlance called Pelosi and “outsized political force for a generation.” 

NPR hailed Pelosi for shattering the “marble ceiling” as the first female speaker and saying she “will be a tough act to follow.”

Bloomberg ran the headline, “Nancy Pelosi’s Groundbreaking Tenure Opened Up Doors for Women.”

Pelosi’s announcement came just one day after Republicans officially clinched its 218-seat majority in the House of Representatives with a few races outstanding that could bolster the GOP’s slim control.

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