In an column published Saturday, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd pointed out that both had grandparents of similar backgrounds ― immigrants whose children would one day rise to prominence with fierce personalities, with children of their own who would follow in their footsteps.
However, Dowd pointed out, that’s where the commonalities stopped.
In an exploration of the upbringings of Trump and Pelosi, Dowd noted that the parenting style of real estate mogul Fred Trump differed vastly from that of Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., a.k.a. Big Tommy, who served as a Maryland congressman and later the mayor of Baltimore.
“Big Tommy D’Alesandro Jr. taught little Nancy how to count,” Dowd wrote. “Fred Trump taught Donald, from the time he was a baby, that he didn’t have to count — or be accountable; Daddy’s money made him and buoyed him.”
The scathing column called out what Dowd identified as major contrasts in the childhoods of Donald Trump and Pelosi, presenting one as the antithesis of the other.
For the columnist, the point of digging into the past was to further understand the divide between the president and the congresswoman as the partial federal government shutdown wades into week four.
“At this fraught moment when the pain of the shutdown is kicking in, President Trump and Speaker Pelosi offer very different visions — shaped by their parents — of what it means to be an American,” Dowd said.
The problem, she contended, is that unlike Pelosi, Trump was never really raised to be an adult, his father having bailed him out of trouble time and time again.
“Over the years, Fred funneled tens of millions of dollars to clean up Donald’s messes,” Dowd wrote. “The father even gave the son $3.5 million in chips to save an Atlantic City casino. By the time he was in his 40s, Donnie’s allowance was more than $5 million annually. No wonder he’s still an infant.”
Saving her most searing words for last, Dowd ended the column by suggesting it was useless for Pelosi to deploy “her ‘mother of five’ voice on our tantrum-prone president, perhaps in an effort to reparent him,” asking, “how do you discipline the world’s brattiest 72-year-old?”
Pelosi continues to butt heads with Trump over his demands for more than $5 billion to build a border wall, a request that sent the government into its prolonged shutdown.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated incorrectly that Dowd’s column compared Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi as the children of immigrants. She wrote about how they are the grandchildren of immigrants.