Press: How 'Nervous Nancy' trumped Trump

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpMnuchin knocks Greta Thunberg's activism: Study economics and then 'come back' to us The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial MORE is not a nice man. He’s a mean, obnoxious bully. For his entire career, first as a phony businessman, and now as a phony president, he’s persevered by beating, berating, degrading, humiliating and personally insulting anyone who dared challenge him.

That’s how he made it in the shady world of Manhattan real estate. And that’s how he bulldozed his way through the 2016 Republican primary. So what if there were 16 more seasoned Republican politicians running against him? Despite having zero political experience himself, he destroyed them one by one with his nasty nicknames: “Lyin’ Ted,” “Little Marco” and “Low-Energy Jeb,” among others.


Once in office, Trump belittled Republican leaders of Congress the same. Line ’em up and beat ’em up: Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' Tensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum No. 2 GOP leader eyes Wednesday of next week for possible votes on witnesses MORE, John CornynJohn CornynNadler gets under GOP's skin Restlessness, light rule-breaking and milk spotted on Senate floor as impeachment trial rolls on Democrats worry a speedy impeachment trial will shut out public MORE, Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerRNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing MORE, Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamRestlessness, light rule-breaking and milk spotted on Senate floor as impeachment trial rolls on Senator-jurors who may not be impartial? Remove them for cause Broad, bipartisan rebuke for proposal to pull troops from Africa MORE, Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHill.TV's Saagar Enjeti rips Sanders for 'inability to actually fight with bad actors' in party Biden fires back at Sanders on Social Security Warren now also knocking Biden on Social Security MORE, Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Cheney's decision not to run for Senate sparks Speaker chatter Mark Mellman: A failure of GOP leadership MORE, Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Cheney's decision not to run for Senate sparks Speaker chatter Trump welcomes LSU to the White House: 'Go Tigers' MORE. They once represented a totally different Republican Party. But Trump battered them so badly they flipped from never-Trumpers to Trump acolytes.

How fitting in this “Me Too” era, then, that after taking down all those cowardly men one by one, it took a woman to finally put Trump in his place. Trump met his match when he met Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSekulow indicates White House not interested in motion to dismiss impeachment articles Overnight Health Care: Trump restores funding for Texas program that bars Planned Parenthood | Trump to attend March for Life | PhRMA spent record on 2019 lobbying Key House committee chairman to meet with Mnuchin on infrastructure next week MORE (D-Calif.). He’s tried to roll out his mean, old bag of ugly tricks against her. But he’s failed. She knows how to embarrass him, befuddle him, rattle him and get under his skin. She’s outsmarted, outfoxed and outclassed him every time.

It started at an Oval Office meeting on the border wall between Trump, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerCollins walks impeachment tightrope 'Emotion' from Trump's legal team wins presidential plaudits Biden says he would not engage in witness swap in impeachment trial MORE (D-N.Y.) on Dec. 11, 2018, shortly after Democrats won back the House and Pelosi was reelected Speaker. Trump began by belittling Pelosi’s hold on power: “Nancy’s in a situation where it’s not easy for her to talk right now.” Whereupon Pelosi shot back: “Mr. President, please don’t characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting as the leader of the House Democrats, who just won a big victory.” Back on the Hill, she told members of her caucus: “It’s like a manhood thing with him.” Adding: “As if manhood could ever be associated with him.” Score: Pelosi 1, Trump 0.

Their sparring continued at the State of the Union. When Trump uncharacteristically called for ending the “politics of revenge,” Pelosi leapt to her feet, locked eyes with him, and gave Trump an extended hand clap that became an instant meme. Score: Pelosi 2, Trump 0.


Next came the double showdown over infrastructure: one meeting where Trump promised $2 trillion, followed by a second where, realizing he couldn’t deliver, Trump stormed out and blamed Pelosi for scuttling the deal by accusing him of conducting a “cover-up,” insisting – LOL – “I don’t do cover-ups.” Pelosi calmly responded by noting that Trump was just throwing a “temper tantrum.” Score: Pelosi 3, Trump 0.

Clearly obsessed by his inability to get the best of Pelosi, Trump chose the Normandy American Cemetery on the 75th Anniversary of D-Day on which to attack her again, blaming her for criticizing him while he was on foreign soil. Even though he’d used his time on foreign soil to call Schumer a “creep,” Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE a “fool,” the mayor of London a “stone cold loser,” and Pelosi a “nasty, vindictive, horrible person.” For her part, Pelosi, also in Normandy, respecting the sacred ground they were on, refused to respond. Score: Pelosi 4, Trump 0.

For the first time, Trump also gave Pelosi a nickname: “Nervous Nancy.” Which just shows how befuddled he is by her. Please. If there’s one thing Pelosi’s not, it’s nervous. Score: Pelosi 5, Trump 0.

Press is host of The Bill Press Pod. His Twitter handle is @BillPressPod. He is author of “From the Left: A Life in the Crossfire.”