Washington – The Vice President Kamala harris and the speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy pelosi, made history Wednesday as the first women, one of them black and Native American, to share the stage in Congress during a presidential address.
President Joe biden He highlighted the historical development in the very opening of his speech. After taking the podium, Biden greeted the two women behind him with a “Madam President” and “Madam Vice President.”
He then declared: “No president has ever said those words, and it is about time.”RELATED
Biden delivered his first primetime speech to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night, flanked by Pelosi and Harris, two Democrats from California.
The two began the night with another historic moment: a nudge salute, a pandemic twist on the traditional handshake. Pelosi and Harris stood side by side behind the dais in the House chamber, chatting with each other and occasionally greeting lawmakers as the group waited for Biden to arrive.
“It’s very exciting. And it is wonderful to make history. It was about time, ”Pelosi said hours before the speech during an interview on MSNBC.
Pelosi already knows what it feels like to sit in the House chamber rostrum and present a president for her speeches. It has sat there during various speeches by Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.
Women’s rights advocates said that seeing Harris and Pelosi sitting together behind Biden was a “beautiful moment.” But they noted that the election of a woman to sit in the Oval Office remains to be achieved, along with the inclusion of an equal rights amendment to the Constitution.
Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi made history by being the first women to share the stage in Congress during a presidential speech. (The Associated Press)
Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi kicked off the night with an elbow salute, a pandemic twist on the traditional handshake. (The Associated Press)
Joe Biden delivered his first speech to Congress as President of the United States. (The Associated Press)
Women’s rights advocates said seeing Harris and Pelosi sitting together behind Biden was a “beautiful moment.” (The Associated Press)
Pelosi has sat during various speeches by Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. (The Associated Press)
Harris, 56, made history last year when she became the first woman and the first African American and Native American elected vice president. (Jim Watson)
Biden helped usher in the moment by pledging to cast a woman as his running mate and select Harris, then a United States Senator from California.
“This is a great start and we have to keep moving forward to give women their due,” said Christian Nunes, president of the National Organization for Women.
Pelosi made history by becoming the first speaker of the House of Representatives during the Republican presidency of Bush. He recognized the moment by noting during his speech to Congress after Pelosi’s election that he had the privilege of being the first president to open with the words “Madam President.”
Pelosi, 81, regained the powerful leadership position during Trump’s Republican presidency and sat behind him during his last two speeches before Congress, tearing up her copy of Trump’s comments in 2020 as the cameras continued to roll after who finished talking to legislators.
Harris, 56, made history last year when she became the first woman and the first African American and Native American elected vice president. In her role as Speaker of the Senate, she joins Pelosi in presiding over the joint session of Congress.
Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, said Wednesday night will show men, women, boys and girls that women can achieve and occupy high-level positions and that they have as much right to they like men.