Now Luke Russert knows what it feels like to get a major media job handed to him right out of college AND what it feels like to get his ass handed to him by an "old lady."
Russert, to Pelosi, who is standing at a podium surrounded by many female members of Congress, most of whom are older women: —colleagues privately say that your decision to stay on prohibits the party from having a younger leadership and hurts the party in the long term. What's your response?
[So much grumbling dissension from the women onstage. Some of them shout: "Discrimination!"]
Pelosi: [laughs mirthlessly] Next! Next!
[The female reps mutter and shout: "Age discrimination!" and "Boo!" and "Wow!"]
Pelosi: Oh, you've always asked that question—except to Mitch McConnell!
[Pelosi chortles and there is scattered applause; mumbles of agreement.]
Russert, in a shitty tone: No, but, excuse me, you, Mr. Hoyer, Mr. Clyburn—you're all over 70. Is your decision to stay on prohibiting younger leadership from moving forward?
[So many groans from the women onstage.]
Pelosi: So you're suggesting that everybody step aside?
Russert: No, I'm simply saying that to delay younger leadership from moving forward in the House— [crosstalk]
Pelosi: I think that you'll see—and, let's for a moment honor it as a legitimate question, [laughter] although it's quite offensive, but you don't realize it, I guess. The fact is that everything that I have done in my almost decade now of leadership is to elect younger and newer people to the Congress. In my own personal experience, it was very important for me to elect young women. I came to Congress when my youngest child Alexandra was a senior in high school and practically on her way to college. I knew that my male colleagues had come when they were 30. They had a jump on me because they didn't have to—children to stay home. Now, I did what I wanted to do; I was blessed to have that opportunity to sequentially raise my family and then come to Congress. But I wanted women to be here in greater numbers at an earlier age so that their seniority would start to account much sooner.
And it wasn't confined to women, though. I—we wanted to keep bringing in younger people, and some of the decisions that we made over the years to invest, when we won the House in 2006 and in races before and since, was to encourage people to come, and when they come here, to give them opportunity to serve. So I don't have any concern about that.
And as I've always said to you: You've got to take off of that 14 years for me because I was home raising a family, getting the best experience of all in diplomacy, interpersonal skills. [she laughs; people applaud]
[Russert tries to interject]
Pelosi, leaning forward over the podium, sternly: No, the answer is no. [laughs]