Pelosi Is No Albatross

Markos tweets:

Reading this piece from 2002, lots of people, both GOPers and weasel Dems, were sure wrong about Pelosi.

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.

Tags: Nancy Pelosi (all tags)



Re: Pelosi Is No Albatross

bingo.  pelosi doesn't have enough name recognition or visibility to drag down democrats (even in the south).  she doesn't look menacing (although republicans will try).  and it is too easy to offend independent women voters by attacking a grandmother.  it just goes to show how desperate conservatives have become...

by bored now 2009-10-12 03:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Is No Albatross

This is slightly off topic but in the article the GOP operative was boasting that he could run ads that say "so-and-so SAYS he's independant, but he's voted with NANCY PELOSI 97% of the time."

I thought Speakers didn't vote?

by Jess81 2009-10-12 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Is No Albatross

The GOP will certainly regain seats in the House, we currently hold too many districts that are tough to defend. But the gains will not be significant enough to alter the political landscape.

by JDF 2009-10-12 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: "Elected the Party's leader"?

Is that correct?

by QTG 2009-10-12 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: "Elected the Party's leader"?

Elected their leader in the House, obviously.

by Steve M 2009-10-12 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: "Elected the Party's leader"?

I knew that, I just needed clarification on the Party Leader statement from the diary. For all I know, I may have been wrong in assuming that the latest Nobel Peace Prize winner is the leader of the Party.

by QTG 2009-10-12 04:16PM | 0 recs
Re: "Elected the Party's leader"?

So you're saying that from late 1973 to late 1974, the leader of the Democratic Party was Henry Kissinger?


by itsthemedia 2009-10-12 08:28PM | 0 recs
Re: "Elected the Party's leader"?

I didn't know Kissinger was ever the Speaker of the House. As a matter of fact, we never even got to hear him speak at all back then!

by QTG 2009-10-13 03:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Is No Albatross

Right now, what is the albatross?  There is one for the D's, what is it?

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-12 04:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Is No Albatross

The economy/employment. Numbers may be starting to turn in a better direction, but they have a long way to go. Then again, it's a long way until November 2010, and few believe the economy won't be better then than it is now.

by Jonathan Singer 2009-10-12 04:26PM | 0 recs
We dont know that

At this time in 1991, almost everybody said that the economy would be far better in November 1992 when Bush was up for reelection.  It was better, but people still felt that we were in a recession as unemployment had moved from 6.8% in late 1991 to 7.6% by November 1992.  

by Kent 2009-10-12 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Is No Albatross

jobs , jobs , jobs .......

Federal spending  , Budget deficits come in tied for second...

by lori 2009-10-12 04:27PM | 0 recs
You cant worry about the deficit in a bad economy

This is what killed Roosevelt in 1937-1938 and Clinton in the early 1993-1994.  

by Kent 2009-10-12 04:29PM | 0 recs
Re: You cant worry about the deficit in a bad econ

Well the administration should be worried about deficits and spending , as I think they are . These are top concerns of the public.. Infact its the cost of the bill that has delayed its passage and is making blue dogs and moderates reluctant to support some of the bills out there  it is that concern that led Obama declare that any health bill has to be deficit neutral...

I predict deficits and spending would play a big role in 2010 and 2012...

by lori 2009-10-12 04:38PM | 0 recs
Re: You cant worry about the deficit in a bad econ

If Obama were to allow big spending cuts now or in any time during his first term, it would send the economy into a tailspin.  When you cut spending, you are basically taking money out of people's pockets.  

by Kent 2009-10-12 04:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Is No Albatross

And the likelihood is that we wont see much if anything turn positive on the job front anywhere, anytime soon. As for federal spending and the deficit, thats not gonna help either. The idea floated by some of another stimulus is terrible policy and even worse politics.

by BuckeyeBlogger 2009-10-12 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Is No Albatross

Well you have to pick one or the other.  You want jobs jobs jobs jobs, you need more federal spending.

by Jess81 2009-10-12 05:03PM | 0 recs
It doesn't have to be a "stimulus" bill.

It could be a tax credit for home improvements that save energy (a big one, not the $200 I got last year).  Or a Cash for Appliances program to replace refrigerators with EnergyStar ones.

Things like that help the environment, help people get their energy bills down and put the middle class back to work.

by GFORD 2009-10-12 05:38PM | 0 recs
What is going to take to restore america

Cash for appliances is nothing more than moving money from one pocket to the other. In that case as cash for clunkers, the money ends up coming out of taxpayers pockets. Look at cash for clunkers....its spurred auto sales for about 6 weeks, after that business is dead. Go walk into a dealership now, they are desperate to sell cars. They will even tell you that business after cash for clunkers is dead. The answer to fixing the economy isnt spending into oblivion. Cash for clunkers didnt put anyone back to work. The only thing thats going to put workers back to work is going to be when the market rebounds. Thats when companies are going to feel confident that revenues will begin rising again. Even than, many of the jobs lost are gone forever. Corporate America has realized they can do more with less and have no intention of going back to employment levels we saw even a few years ago.

Long term, Green energy can help restore jobs, but we also need to spend wisely. That means real infrastructure spending. Not that nonsense of repaving roads. It means rebuilding failing bridges, building real HS rail, building windfarms, solar and nuclear powerplants. Thats what its going to take, not this nonsense of cash for clunkers, or for appliances....

by BuckeyeBlogger 2009-10-12 06:21PM | 0 recs
Re: What is going to take to restore america

LOLZ... both GM and Ford started running more shifts because of C-for-C.

Take your RW talking points somewhere else.

by vecky 2009-10-12 10:52PM | 0 recs
Re: What is going to take to restore america

How did that restore jobs? And what has happened since? Very little, dealerships arent swelling cars. Dont give me that Republican talking points crap. Fact is if you tak to the dealership who actually sell the cars, they all say the same thing, it was great for a month, but nows business stinks again. Further all we did was push money from one taxpayers pocket to another....

by BuckeyeBlogger 2009-10-13 02:26PM | 0 recs
Actually CforC did put people back to work.

GM recalled 2400 workers.  The auto industry is expecting a good year next year.  The dealers are slow right now because they have no inventory.  

Agreed that many jobs are gone forever.  We need to create new ones and they will come from small to medium sized businesses, not the big multi-nationals.

Yes, all the infrastructure jobs are important but that doesn't mean that getting people to the retail stores doesn't help too.  It's not one or the other.  Both are good.

by GFORD 2009-10-19 01:56PM | 0 recs
I'm going to go with big government

The zombie of reganomics lives* on, and the same people demanding reform from our government will turn around and schizophrenically deride big government. Isn't that what's going on in California? Where they can't raise taxes but everyone wants big government services? And only Obama can kill this zombie. Time will tell if he can.

* Philosophically, do zombies "live" on?

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-12 07:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Is No Albatross

The unemployment numbers. 17% effective unemployment rate.

by Charles Lemos 2009-10-12 07:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Is No Albatross

Definitely jobs. The average voter will not feel the recession is over until the job market improves. Not the second derivative of unemployment, but the actual numbers. People understand that Obama was handed a big steamin' pile of - uh - rubble by the previous administration, so they are inclined to give him some slack for now. But by election day 2010, Obama will own the economic numbers, however unfairly.

I strongly disagree that people are going to care deeply about the deficits until after the economy starts to improve. The only way they will start to get notice if if inflation takes off, and right now DEflation is a bigger danger to the economy.

The only other issue that could reach albatrossitude is Afghanistan. If we are still stravaging along there, even with more troops on station, progressives will be unhappy, but will still vote Democratic. If we have a major debacle there, like a large troop loss from some catastrophic security breach, the moderates and independents will start muttering about Vietnam. That will be bad. And the Repubs will suddenly recall that they were against the whole thing from the start. McCain will go on every news show to reflip his position yet again, to uncritical amplification by the bobbleheads.

by itsthemedia 2009-10-12 08:45PM | 0 recs
What a load!

BTW, is it bad taste to reply to one own post?


I should add that not getting SOME kind of healthcare reform would be the worst of all. But I am pretty confident we will get something passed, and 2010 will be too soon to see the effectiveness of whatever it is. Maybe by 2012, once the program has spun up, we will see some bragging/backlash.

by itsthemedia 2009-10-12 08:52PM | 0 recs
I see the possibility we will pull out of

Afghanistan.  With the pakistanis kicking butt and the illegitimate Afghan government, it might make better sense to funnel $$ and equipment to the Pakistanis.  We'll see.

by GFORD 2009-10-19 02:00PM | 0 recs
The only problem I habe with this post

is the statement that you would not be surprised if the Republicans gain back a bunch of their lost seats regardless of attacking Pelosi.

If the Democratic congress does what they need to do on healthcare along with their other reforms the Republicans will actually lose seats in 2010. I will not be caught so generously conceding ground to the party of nothing and about nothing that is now relegated to being the party of the south and secessionist movements!

by politics64 2009-10-12 06:13PM | 0 recs
Time will always prove the blogosphere wrong

Jonathan, I love your diaries, but I think there is a missing facet to this story: Progressive blogosphere and pundocracy knee jerk reactions have time and again proven themselves to be full of crap.

I do recall progressives (and many democrats in general) believing that the choice of Speaker Pelosi would be our downfall. I'll have to hop in the way back machine to find the stories, but I do recall hand wringing over how Speaker Pelosi wouldn't be progressive enough, blah blah blah.

And I see the same hand wringing repeating itself today with President Obama, not even 9 months in to his first term.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-12 07:21PM | 0 recs


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