WASHINGTON—After successfully gaining a majority in both the U.S. House and Senate in the 2006 midterm elections, the Democratic Party was mired in controversy when the newly elected speaker of the house, Rep. Pelosi (D-CA), was caught on camera wearing what appeared to be a skirt, ladies top, necklace, and pair of high heels.
Photographs and video showing the speaker traipsing around the House floor in the garish attire were leaked to C-SPAN moments after the 110th Congress took office on Jan. 3. Since that time, Pelosi's unconventional clothing choice has been universally decried by Washington insiders as "a tragic blot on the long and honorable history of U.S. speakers."
"I was shocked," said Wall Street Journal political analyst Kendra Graves. "This is not what I've come to expect from the House of Representatives—or the White House or Senate for that matter."
Although Rep. Pelosi has made no attempts to downplay the scandal, the embattled speaker continues to draw controversy as more and more Americans have begun to voice their concern over a national legislative body being headed by an individual who enjoys wearing pantyhose in public.
"What kind of a message does this send to our children?" Minneapolis mother of four Carol Hardwick asked. "That it's 'okay' for our top leaders to have long hair and paint their fingernails and speak in a high falsetto voice? This is America, for heaven's sake."
While no formal plans have been issued to remove the speaker from office, key members of the Bush administration have publicly expressed disappointment with and disapproval of Pelosi's behavior.
"It's disgusting," said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was wearing a three-piece suit and flats at the time.