I’m back in the saddle, as Speaker of the House, and heading for the airport to lead a delegation to Egypt and Afghanistan. My cell phone vibrates in my purse.
“Speaker Pelosi, you can’t go overseas,” says an urgent aide.
“I can do whatever I want.”
“President Trump says you must reschedule ‘this public relations event’ until the shutdown’s over. Either that or fly commercial.”
“Bleep him,” I say. “Goodbye. Driver, take me to the White House at once.”
I can’t imagine the home of Lincoln and Roosevelt is inhabited by such a little man. At the gates I power down my window and tell two secret service agents, “I expect you haven’t been paid in weeks. I’ll fix that. Let me in.”
They call inside. Several minutes later an agent says, “I’m sorry, Speaker Pelosi, but President Trump says he’s very busy working to secure the border and get eight hundred thousand federal workers back on the payroll.”
“Open this gate or I’m plowing through.”
“You can’t do that, Madame Speaker.”
I power up my window and order, “Driver, proceed.”
“I said, ‘Proceed.’”
He eases the big bumper to the gate.
“Floor it,” I shout.
After some thirty seconds of burning rubber and thickening smoke the gate breaks down, clanking on pavement, and we shoot to the White House entrance. Secret service agents rush to surround the vehicle. President Trump walks out the front door.
“They’d have shot your ass, Nancy, but I told them not to,” he says.
I exit the vehicle and march my slender frame straight up to the president. “You shouldn’t cut off people’s paychecks.”
“Just fund my border wall and everything’ll be fine.”
“I’ll never invite you to give the State of the Union address, and stage a political farce, as long as you’re playing politics with the lives of our governmental workers and people fleeing poverty and violence.”
Trump smirks. “Nancy, look at the polls. Americans want a wall at the border.”
“Forty-two percent want a wall and fifty-four do not. Did you flunk math?”
“My campaign and my presidency have changed the trend. Soon, most Americans will demand a big beautiful wall.”
“Such a wall would be obscene and against our principles.”
“Why are you liberals so afraid of enforcing the law at the border?”
“That’s a red herring. In fact, we’re enforcing the law and arresting most undocumented migrants.”
“Not enough,” says Trump. “You better leave before I have you arrested.”
“You’re a coward and a jackass.”
“If you were Joe Biden, I’d pound you.”
He smirks again, and I charge and bury my left shoulder into his soft belly and, like a defender from my hometown San Francisco 49ers, lock my arms around his waist and drive him to the cold White House turf. Instantly, I’m sitting on his belly, a firm leg on each side, and digging fingernails into wrists I pin against my knees.
“You guys do your damn job,” he demands. “Guys, where the hell are you?”