CNN’s Dana Bash and several others noted the “unusual” and “jarring” appearance of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi smiling as she handed out souvenir impeachment signing pens.
Bash, who appeared alongside political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson and Wolf Blitzer during Wednesday’s coverage of the ongoing impeachment proceedings, did not appear to believe the moment fit the occasion. (RELATED: ‘Untied’: Souvenir Pens From Clinton’s Impeachment Had To Be Reprinted After Spelling Error)
“We are used to seeing signing ceremonies,” Bash began, noting that pens were often handed out when a momentous piece of legislation was passed. “At moments of celebration, when a president is signing legislation, when even sometimes, on a rare occasion, but it has happened when the House sends over a landmark piece of legislation. It was unusual to see that kind of ceremony and handing out the pens and smiling for a picture in this kind of situation where the House Speaker has bent over backwards to say publicly and privately that this is somber and no time for celebration.”
“Understandably it is history and people want to mark the moment,” Bash added, “But I did not expect to see it.”
Henderson agreed, calling the moment “jarring and certainly off message” specifically for Pelosi, who has done her best from the beginning to set a serious tone for impeachment proceedings.
Bash and Henderson were not alone in their assessment.
Pelosi sharing pens to sign the articles of impeachment and smiling and posing for pictures seemed a little off for the moment.
— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) January 15, 2020
No surprise…Speaker Pelosi just held a celebratory signing ceremony handing out souvenir impeachment pens.
The truth comes out.
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) January 15, 2020
For months Nancy Pelosi said impeachment was serious, sad, and somber.
After signing the articles of impeachment Pelosi laughed about the number of pens she used to sign the articles. pic.twitter.com/yganN96i9u
— Francis Brennan (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@FrancisBrennan) January 15, 2020
Even the White House mocked Pelosi’s souvenir pens. Press secretary Stephanie Grisham tweeted, “Nancy Pelosi’s souvenir pens served up on silver platters to sign the sham articles of impeachment…She was so somber as she gave them away to people like prizes.”
Nancy Pelosi’s souvenir pens served up on silver platters to sign the sham articles of impeachment…She was so somber as she gave them away to people like prizes. https://t.co/RMOiNeoMu0
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) January 15, 2020