House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s response last week to legacy NBC reporter Luke Russert’s suggestion she retire due to her “age” came off as hostile to many who reported it, but the politician says she was more “amused” than offended by the whippersnapper’s remarks.
Nancy Pelosi’s reaction to Russert’s remarks was refreshing to many women, as the double standard applied when you consider that politicians her age or older who happen to be male (Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid and John McCain spring to mind) are not queried in the same fashion seems fairly clear.
Pelosi herself quickly pointed this out to Russert when she quipped:
“Oh, you’ve always asked that question … Except to Mitch McConnell.”
Nancy Pelosi also then pointed out the challenges females face and historically have fielded when “catching up” to male counterparts in the workplace, suggesting a bit of male privilege in assessment of her fitness to serve due to her age as well.
Of her ascension through the ranks in politics, Pelosi explained:
“I knew that my male colleagues…had a jump on me because they didn’t have children to stay home [with] … You got to take off about 14 years from me because I was home raising a family.”
Sing it, sister! But Nancy Pelosi herself insists that, even despite the somewhat apparent prejudice revealed in the exchange, she wasn’t annoyed by Russert but rather found the controversy amusing.
Speaking to Martha Raddatz yesterday, the House Leader responded to Raddatz’s suggestion she took offense at the remarks, asserting:
“I do not agree with the characterization you just gave … I was amused. I was surprised at the response of my colleagues because they were just very offended.”
Raddatz asked again if Pelosi herself took offense to which she responded:
“Well, me? I laughed, because I thought, ‘Oh, they don’t know what questions I have to be subjected to all the time.’ For me, this is a matter of course.”
Nancy Pelosi then suggested that Russert should have saved his age-related line of questioning for another time.