Pelosi Is No Albatross
by Jonathan Singer, Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 02:59:42 PM EDT
Reading this piece from 2002, lots of people, both GOPers and weasel Dems, were sure wrong about Pelosi. http://bit.ly/YFCif
The amazing thing about the detractors of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not just how wrong they have been -- and their predictions have been terrible -- but how enduring their poor predictions have been.
Markos is right to note that this trend started long ago, with projections in 2002 that Pelosi's ascendancy would be bad news for House Democrats. Of course today, the party holds 50 more seats in the House than it did when she was elected the party's leader.
In 2006, Republicans put enough stock in these criticisms to invest serious money running ads trying to tie Democratic candidates and incumbents to the supposedly unpopular Pelosi. At the time, I predicted this tactic would fail, and indeed they did, wasting resources on a tactic that failed to sway voters as Democrats picked up 31 seats en route to retaking the House for the first time in 12 years.
During the 2008 cycle, too, we saw Republicans direct their resources towards trying to tie Pelosi to Democratic candidates and incumbents -- a strategy that failed in even deeply red districts. In the end, the Democrats managed to pick up close to another two dozen seats through the 2008 cycle despite predictions that the party would not be able to strike gold twice in a row.
Yet despite the fact that Pelosi's detractors have been proven wrong many times over, and that their mistake has been costly, Republicans appear destined to undertake the same strategy again in 2010, making Pelosi the key to their playbook. We'll see how that one goes for them. I'd be surprised if the Republicans didn't manage to make back a decent chunk of their losses from the last two cycles next fall almost regardless of their tactics. But if they think that they are going to be able to retake the House in 2010 by focusing their campaign strategy on Pelosi rather than laying out any sort of positive vision for the country, it's hard to see how they will be any more successful then than they have in the past several years.