Nancy Pelosi’s speaker run might be an entertaining silver lining for the GOP

· November 13, 2018  
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Nancy Pelosi raises two fingers
Toya Sarno Jordan | Getty Images

The House of Representatives won’t even vote on whether or not to reinstall Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as speaker until January, but her campaign for the office is already creating a silver lining for Republicans.

Pelosi kicked off her first day back with a concerted effort to get her old office back by moving aggressively to drum up votes from fellow Democrats.

She also, however, has decided to make gender-based identity politics a central part of her speaker run, Politico reports. She and her allies plan to pressure Democrats into supporting her by warning that they shouldn’t remove the only woman on their leadership team when so many women will be joining Congress as freshmen.

Apparently, someone in the strategy department believes people who don’t already vote Democrat haven’t yet had more than their fill of identity politics and that making Pelosi’s gender a central part of the effort won’t alienate anyone who has.

And while Pelosi has the backing of many in the Democratic establishment, there are some in her party who see her as a liability. For example, incoming Oklahoma Democrat Kendra Horn is withholding her support for now:

If elected, Pelosi will be leading a lot of newly elected House Democrats from parts of the country where here name doesn’t carry the same kind of cache that it does in D.C. political media circles. Not to mention there are many in the conference who have been calling for her job since the aftermath of the 2016 election. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, has been the most prominent face of that movement.

They may have a point. Many Democrats see Pelosi as their best chance of defeating Trump’s agenda through the next session and setting the stage for the 2020 elections. This belief, however, is a gift to the many Republicans and conservatives who see the wealthy, gaffe-prone progressive from deep-blue San Francisco as the perfect opponent to campaign against for the next two years.

In case anyone forgot, Pelosi tends to give her opposition quite a lot to work with.

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But that’s not all: In addition to dealing with the demands of members from more moderate swing districts, the Democrat leader will also face pressure from her party’s far-left wing, as evidenced by the climate change demonstration (and one of its high-profile attendees) outside her office on Tuesday, which is going to make it that much harder for her and her team to produce a cohesive vision.

Maybe Nancy Pelosi as speaker really is the Democratic Party’s best chance at taking back the Oval Office in 2020. If that’s true, the Trump campaign’s job is about to get a lot easier.


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Author: Nate Madden

Nate Madden is CRTV’s congressional correspondent. Follow him @NateMaddenCRTV or send tips to [email protected].