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.
“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.
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.”