The Washington Post

Nancy Pelosi’s Donna Reed moment

The Democratic House leader had a back to the 1950’s moment Thursday as she gushed over the special election win for a New York House seat by Democrat Kathy Hochul. 

“She is a mom, two kids, two young children,” Pelosi said, then corrected herself. “Not young children — college age. To all the people out there who wonder who’s going to take care of her children — they’re college age.”

Whoa! Paging Donna Reed! Back in the day, Pelosi did not launch her career in elective office until her children were grown. But, note to the former speaker: Times have changed. Voters don’t freak out at the notion of mothers of young children working, as they say, outside the home.  Even, in fact, in the House. You might want to check with, say, the new chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who’s got three young children.

I don’t believe that Pelosi has a problem with that.  I just think she misspoke and then got all nervous about how the notion of Hochul-as-mom would play.  But seriously, if House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), or Pelosi’s number two, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) had said something so obviously retrograde, I suspect they’d have been taken forthwith to the feminist woodshed.

Ruth Marcus is a columnist for The Post, specializing in American politics and domestic policy.

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