In June of 2017, just after Jon Ossoff’s Chernobyl-like meltdown in a Georgia special election, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had one of her more infamous news conferences of her tenure in Democrat leadership.
The line that stuck in everyone’s craw at the time was how she dismissed rumblings among members her caucus that it was time for her to step aside and give way to new blood.
“I think I’m worth the trouble, quite frankly,” she told reporters. “I love the fray.”
Indeed she does — and, like so many Democrats (if not their poll numbers), Pelosi seems to have been invigorated by the fracas over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
And then that news conference — oh yes, that press conference — came back to haunt her again.
She didn’t mention Kavanaugh by name, because at the time, he wasn’t the nominee for the Supreme Court.
However, if you don’t think what happened to Justice Kavanaugh wasn’t a planned (albeit poorly) event to stop a conservative appointee, you perhaps may want to reconsider that when you consider just how presciently she managed to sum up the Democrat strategy on the Supreme Court nominee a year before it actually happened.
Pelosi was talking about how she said the Republicans didn’t want the “contrast” of having to tell their constituents “what their representative is going to do for their district.”
In light of the words that were to come, it’s interesting that Pelosi said this was because “they’re going to go down there to be involved in trickle-down economics, shutting down hospitals and the rest of it, so they don’t want them to see that contrast, so they focus on something else.”
What they focus on, Pelosi said, is the “wrap-up smear.”
“It’s a diversionary tactic,” Pelosi said. “It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. You demonize — we call it the wrap-up smear,” Pelosi said. “You smear somebody with falsehoods and all the rest, and then you merchandise it.
“And then you (reporters) write it, and then they’ll say ‘See? It’s reported in the press that this, this, this and this,’ so they have that validation that the press reported the smear, and then it’s called the ‘wrap-up smear.’ Now I’m going to merchandise the press’s report on the smear that we made.
“It’s a tactic. And it’s self-evident.”
At a recent appearance in San Francisco, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) repeated her story that the spirits of women’s rights activists Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul and Sojourner Truth squeezed into her chair—and then spoke to her–the first time she went to a meeting at the White House after being elected House Minority Leader.
When she was elected to that post on Nov. 14, 2002, Pelosi became the first woman in U.S. history to become the leader of either party in the House or Senate.
“I sit down and as he [President George W. Bush] is being so gracious and welcoming, I feel really squeezed in in my chair,” Pelosi told the audience at an August 22 event sponsored by the Public Policy Institute of California.
“I mean I’m, like I’m squeezed in in my chair,” she said. “And I am thinking: What is this? And I realized Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth. All of them. They were all in the chair, right there, with me. They were right there. I’ve never had that experience before or since. They were right there on the chair. And I could hear them say: At last we have a seat at the table.
“And then they were gone,” said Pelosi.
Here is a transcript of Pelosi telling the story at the Aug. 22, 2018 PPIC event:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:
“When I first, went to my first meeting, as representing as a leader, went to my first meeting, to the White House, I wasn’t apprehensive about it because I’m an intelligence person more than anybody else in the history of the Congress. I have been there on intelligence matters. I’m an appropriator. I was a leader on the Appropriations Committee. And, so, I just didn’t even think about it. I am going to the White House for a meeting. Well, when I went to the meeting and the doors closed behind me, I realized that this was unlike any other meeting I had ever been to in the White House. In fact, it was unlike any meeting that any women had ever been to in the White House.
“Very small meeting: President of the United States and Vice President and then, House and Senate, Democratic and Republican leaders. Just small, maybe ten people at the most, around the table. And I felt: Oh my! Because here I was. Now, women sit at the Cabinet table, yes, appointed by the president—whose vote counts more than anybody else’s at the table.
“But I was coming, elected by my colleagues, first branch of government, the Legislative Branch, Article 1. First time. So, I sit down, and President Bush is gracious as he could ever be. George W. Bush. Welcoming or this or that. Lovely.
“And while he was talking about it: Oh, yeah, I’m sure we’re going to hear some things we haven’t heard before. You know, you can just imagine. But he was lovely and gracious. The Bushes always that.
“So, I am sitting in my–I sit down and as he’s being so gracious and welcoming, I feel really squeezed in in my chair. I mean I’m, like I’m squeezed in in my chair. And I am thinking: What is this? And I realized Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth. All of them. They were all in the chair, right there, with me. They were right there. I’ve never had that experience before or since. They were right there on the chair. And I could hear them say: At last we have a seat at the table.
“And then they were gone.
“And then I could pay attention to President Bush. And then they were gone. And my first thought was: We want more. We want more.
“But just a reminder of the shoulders that all of us stand on. And those who stand on our shoulders as well.”
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
October 8th, 2018