Pelosi Cites ‘High Privilege and Distinct Honor’ As She Presents Biden; Last Year Was Different

By Patrick Goodenough | April 28, 2021 | 11:49pm EDT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Biden bump elbows after his speech on Wednesday night. (Photo by Jim Watson/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Biden bump elbows after his speech on Wednesday night. (Photo by Jim Watson/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) –  What a difference a year makes.

As she introduced President Joe Biden ahead of his address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not hide her enthusiasm.

“Members of Congress,” she said, in muffled tones through her mask. “I have the high privilege and distinct honor to present to you the president of the United States.”

Moments beforehand, Biden had handed her a copy of his speech, and the two met eyes over their masks, with Biden briefly raising one hand. When Biden finished his address, they bumped elbows.

 

Almost 15 months earlier, as Pelosi introduced President Trump for what would be his last State of the Union address, she said simply, “Members of Congress, the president of the United States.”

Moments earlier, Trump had handed her and Vice President Mike Pence a copy each of his speech before turning back to the podium as she appeared to offer her hand.

“Uh – it looks like she went to shake his hand and – and he did – and he did not – he did not take it,” said CNN’s Jake Tapper, who was providing live commentary before the president began to speak. Tapper didn’t comment on the fact Trump didn’t shake Pence’s hand either.

As Trump neared the end of his speech, Pelosi deliberately tore in half what appeared to be her copy, before tossing the ripped pieces of paper onto the desk. She told reporters later she had done so “because it was a manifesto of mistruths.”

Two months before that speech, the House of Representatives had voted to impeach Trump, for “abuse of power” over his dealings with Ukraine, and for “obstruction of Congress.” The Republican-controlled Senate later acquitted him.

Last January, the House impeached him a second time, for “high crimes and misdemeanors,” after accusing him of inciting an insurrection against the government at the U.S. Capitol. The Senate acquitted him again.

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