Pelosi Portrait Unveiled in U.S. Capitol
It has been 15 years since Nancy Pelosi made history as the first woman to be elected speaker of the House.
On Wednesday, that history was placed on display on the walls of the Capitol, when Ms. Pelosi’s official portrait was unveiled and set to be hung in the speaker’s lobby, adorned until now only with gilt-framed oil portraits of the white men who preceded Ms. Pelosi in the post, including Sam Rayburn, Tip O’Neill and Frederick Muhlenberg, the House’s first speaker.
“My members had the courage to elect a woman speaker,” Ms. Pelosi, dressed in white, told a crowd that gathered in Statuary Hall to mark the occasion.
The ceremony honoring Ms. Pelosi’s likeness and legacy brought together former rivals, would-be successors, colleagues going back decades, cabinet officials and television anchors. It even featured a virtual cameo by former President Barack Obama, who made a video tribute in which he pronounced her “one of the most accomplished legislators in American history.”
Representative Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California and the minority leader, who is in the middle of a white-knuckle fight to succeed Ms. Pelosi, sat silently, sandwiched between Representative Steny H. Hoyer, Ms. Pelosi’s longtime No. 2, and Representative Hakeem Jeffries, the incoming minority leader. Former Representative Joseph Crowley, the onetime heir apparent to Ms. Pelosi who lost his seat in 2018 to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, also showed up to honor Ms. Pelosi.
John Boehner, who was speaker between Ms. Pelosi’s two stints in the role, teared up as he spoke of her as a role model to his daughters.
“Game recognizes game,” Mr. Boehner said, noting that he was borrowing a phrase from the younger generation. “And the fact of the matter is no other speaker of the House in the modern era, Republican or Democrat, has wielded the gavel with such authority or with such consistent results.”
It all served as a reminder that Ms. Pelosi, 82, has outlasted them all.