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Pelosi and Her Allies Use Flight Home to Strategize

Here are some additional insights to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from Post congressional correspondent Jonathan Weisman, who profiled Pelosi in today's Post.

For most West Coast lawmakers, the weekend flight from Washington to California is a time to rest, catch up on sleep, maybe read a brief or two, or finish a novel. For Nancy Pelosi, it has always been a time to work.

That transcontinental flight has been the subject of simmering resentment for many Democrats, who see it as a time for Pelosi's inner circle to whisper into the ear of their captive audience as they strategize about the party's future.

"It depends on how tired people are, but she can get a lot of work done in a five-hour flight," confided Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), who has long sat at the top of the speaker's cluster of advisers and confidantes. "The speaker believes that down time is a missed opportunity."

But the power of that flight has been severely diminished in recent months, members of that inner circle say. Pelosi still tries to fly home to San Francisco, but her route now tends to meander, from Washington to a fund-raiser in Florida perhaps, an event in Indiana, and maybe an appearance in Arizona. Advisers like Miller, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) or Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) are far less likely to tag along for the ride.

For all her rough-and-tumble politics, Pelosi has also maintained a touch of the San Francisco doyenne. Even in routine meetings in her speaker's suite, she insists on adorning her sprawling conference table with fresh cut flowers at almost every place setting, serving tea and coffee from a silver samovar and doling out Ghirardeli chocolates from dainty service dishes.

The presentation is so formal, and perhaps so lavish that some aides fret it could become a political liability, once Republicans decide to latch on to her entertainment budget.

-- Jonathan Weisman

By Eric Pianin  |  July 9, 2007; 1:20 PM ET
 
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Comments

It seems that hoping that Democrats would truly begin to turn this country around was another false hope.The war goes on, deals are still made among the priviledged few, and Americans are still left in the dark. When or how does it end? Remove those at fault, and tell those that are elected that they will be removed if they are not working to trully make America better

Posted by: Van | July 9, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Let's start with what voters don't want to see: free food, entertainment, travel and trips provided by interest groups for members and their aides - unless it's for fund-raising. Obviously aides like all the freebies from interest groups just as much as the members, however it has long smacked of corruption and vote-buying.

Therefore what Pelosi must start to do is significant behavioral modification and enforcement for members and their aides on this issue. If that means Pelosi needs a lavish tax-payer funded entertainment and travel budget to show members and aides there might be a better way, I say bravo to Pelosi. Interest groups should be paying for free food, entertainment, travel and trips only within a fund-raising setting!

Posted by: Chris Baker | July 9, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Nancy sold out the sweeping Democratic vote when she agreed not to
pursue impeachment proceedings against President Bush when she was elected Speaker of the House. Its too late - she
has to go. Sheehan is right - we were
sold out for greed - airplane trips and power. Nancy has shown her colors to be no different than the rest of the do nothing Congress.

Posted by: Jeri | July 10, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

What the Hey? Come on Nancy quit being the debutant and do the job we elected you to do. Bush has to be Impeached and so does Cheney. the history books will show you in the same light as the others if you continue to act like a Prima Donna. You are a women but have the guts to do what needs to be done. It is not what you want! You are supposed to represent us. I for one expected you to impeach and do more than have the picture perfect adrien Arpel image. Roll up the sleeves of your designer suit and do some real work. So, you are the first female speaker. Hurah Hurah, use this power for the people who elected you. No deals in the smoke filled back rooms. Do everything in public 'show some courage and back bone. Impeach the infidels. There are many doing without the basics in life while the elected officials already usally rich live like Kings and Queens. Do not make me sorry I vote for you. Sincerely, Mary L. Mayfield

Posted by: Mary Mayfield | July 10, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Coy, cutesy, and disengenious...Nancy has fooled no one! She has a power-hungry madness, and for all you 'dims' out there, don't hold your breath that she will follow through with what you 'paid' her for. Nancy is for Nancy and if you look closely (won't have to look hard) Billary has the same look in her eyes.

Investing in the same corporations she 'says she' despises, hobnobbing with the same 'enemies' she says she eschews, and hiring the same illegals (read law breakers), you might even think she is a Republican.

Good luck, Y'all

Posted by: May Pelletier | July 10, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

What nonsense. At least she has a touch of class. Sadly lacking in the country for many years. Be patient, the Democrats have only one vote majority in the Senate and the Republicans will trump the '60-vote' requirement (wherever that came from) at every opportunity. They're fighting a Napoleonic and fascist executive branch which, in the past, took a few years to overcome.
If the Democrats don't prevail, this country is in serious trouble.
No nation, no matter how powerful, can stand alone in this world. Diplomacy over arrogance!

Posted by: Kacee | July 10, 2007 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey, did anyone really think that the democrats were going to be any different than the Republicans. The American people have no chance with the current two party system. bi-partisan relationship only works when the washington elite get together to line their own pockets at the taxpayers expense. Take a current look at the corruption of our leaders in Washington, Who says we don't need term limits??

Posted by: mikemerrill2002 | July 11, 2007 1:13 AM | Report abuse

This is the most dangerous moment in our nation's history, not because things will not get worse, but for the simple reason that if the American public and Congress does not make a stand against the Bush Administration and it's domestic and foreign policies now, we will descend into a corporate, right-wing fascism backed by the current majority in the Supreme Court.

Posted by: Tom Athans | July 11, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

This is the most dangerous moment in our nation's history, not because things will not get worse, but for the simple reason that if the American public and Congress does not make a stand against the Bush Administration and it's domestic and foreign policies now, we will descend into a corporate, right-wing fascism backed by the current majority in the Supreme Court.

Posted by: Tom Athans | July 11, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

When you tell a bully that he can not be punished, you get Bush. Take impeachment off the table!

Posted by: R. Pedrick | July 11, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

This article reads more like gossip than an news article or op-ed. If investigative journalism reveals nothing more than that Speaker Pelosi has good manners and a touch of class, PK should be looking elsewhere for the sensaional. I would like to know what is transpiting between Pelosi and the other Democrats in Congress on the issue of impeachment, appointment of special prosecutors, the Israel problem, etc.. I am looking for information that will help me understand where Congress stands on the issues that affect us all.

Posted by: Robert Castle | July 11, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

This article reads more like gossip than an news article or op-ed. If investigative journalism reveals nothing more than that Speaker Pelosi has good manners and a touch of class, PK should be looking elsewhere for the sensaional. I would like to know what is transpiting between Pelosi and the other Democrats in Congress on the issue of impeachment, appointment of special prosecutors, the Israel problem, etc.. I am looking for information that will help me understand where Congress stands on the issues that affect us all.

Posted by: Robert Castle | July 11, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

If we the people have a complaint about politicians, let us not forget it is we who elected them, let them know what you want ! get involved.

Posted by: Tom Larson | July 11, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

There are three things Miss Nancy and company had better do, or those who brung'em will not go further with them:

1) Get out of Iraq
2) Establish a bipartisan ETHICS COMMISSION that
has REAL TEETH.
3) Stand up further against the gun lobby that
has handcuffed our police officers, even
threatening them with prison for trying to
catch crooked gun suppliers.

It is either do something, or we will kick y0u out of the little room like we did R's in 2006.

Count on us.

Dr. Jerry W. Reeves, Chaplain Retired

Posted by: Dr. Jerry W. Reeves | July 11, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

We cannot let the precidents the Bush administration is setting to stand.Without at least an attempt to impeach Bush and company a future Supreme Court will see congress as agreeing with the imperial presidency.If Nancy Pellossi wants to be a go along to get along then she needs to go!

Posted by: Nick Burger | July 15, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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