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The Speaker, Voiceless but not Speechless

This morning, Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) weekly press conference was moved from its usual room in the Capitol, which can accomodate banks of television cameras, to a smaller conference room with no cameras allowed. Before the session began, an aide warned reporters that they could record audio of the session but could not broadcast it. Why the change? Was Pelosi afraid to be caught on camera on a particular subject? The answer became clear upon her arrival.

"You're probably wondering why I called you here," Pelosi said in a barely audible whisper. "I woke up this morning, and the Speaker had no voice."

Her voice lilting in and out of earshot, Pelosi explained that she wanted to speak to the press despite her affliction, but had brought along a couple of fellow Democrats, Reps. Ed Markey (Mass.) and John Yarmuth (Ky.), to help out. Asked what "remedy" was contained in the cup of pale yellow liquid she was sipping, Pelosi said she'd been advised that "something stronger" might really help her recovery, particularly a "good shot" of alcohol. She said that the Kentuckian Yarmuth might endorse that kind of liquid cure. "Some specific brands as well," Yarmuth joked.

Pelosi was muffled during the session, but certainly not silenced. She still managed to voice her opinions, particularly when she was asked about her recent suggestion that Texas Rep. Chet Edwards might be a good vice presidential pick for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). What other House members might she suggest for the No. 2 job?

"Put all their names in a hat; any one of them would be great," Pelosi said. As for the name she's already floated, "I've always tried to encourage Mr. Edwards to run for leadership or something. I think he's an extraordinarily talented person. ... He is really one of the finest people I've ever served with and commands the respect of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle."

Pelosi stipulated that any candidate Obama chooses is "A-OK with me," but "I thought it was important to have some selections from the House, so I started with Mr. Edwards. I don't think Mr. Obama 'needs' anything. I think he's the full package for president of the United States."

UPDATE: Despite her ailment, Pelosi did manage to keep her appointment today to address the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, meeting this week in Washington, D.C. Pelosi briefly read off a list of the group's leaders, and Latino members of Congress, and reminded the nonpartisan group of her support of Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Here's the video:

By Ben Pershing  |  June 26, 2008; 12:17 PM ET
Categories:  Dem. Leaders  
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I wouldn't believe Pelosi if she swore she was the speaker of the house.Bush commits the crime Pelosi protects him.Bush wants telecom immunity Pelosi rams it thru.Pelosi is nothing but a little yes girl for Bush.What's her payoff from Bush?It's surprising she didn't name Cheney as a great vice president for Obama.If we get real lucky next time she runs for election she'll get her walking papers.

Posted by: pooty | June 26, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

So I agree 100% that we cannot trust that
out of control two faced lying phony DINO
Madame Speaker Nutso Nancy Pelosi and I
pray to God that the voters will vote loser
Pelosi out in 2008! Please remember that it
is Nancy Pelosi who is behind her stooge
fellow Liberal Extremist Empty Suit Loser
Barack Hussein Obama and don't forget it
was Nancy Pelosi,who took Impeachment off
the table and that makes Pelosi complicit
and a fellow Bush & Cheney War Criminal.
And do remember Pelosi and Obama are after
your guns as well. Just Say No To Clueless
Nancy Pelosi and Barack Hussein Obama!

Posted by: Sandy5274 | June 26, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't you know that despite losing her voice she still doesn't shut up. Here's hoping that Cindy Sheehan makes her lose it for good this November.

Posted by: Patrick NYC | June 26, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I saw her on Greta and she made such a fool of herself. I have no respect for this woman. I hope that she is gone in November because she has done nothing since she was elected.

Posted by: Hedy | June 26, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Ben, I think she is unbelivable and unspeakable, yet keeps talking!

Posted by: peace4world | June 26, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I will NOT vote for you Nancy!!!
I am ashamed of you for being MY representative!!!

Posted by: Kazu | June 26, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I chose Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton, because, he is Barack Obama, and not Barack O'Clinton. There are similar and competing ideologies; but to meld the Obama camp and the Hillary camp into a competitive party to take to Denver, therein lies the rub. It cannot be done. Politics makes strange bedfellows, but some things do not mix. Hillary Clinton is well on her way to becoming a billionaire. She can drop $22.5-million and still have money to burn. Does Hillary Clinton worry about the price of gasoline? Is she concerned about the cost of groceries? Does Hillary lose sleep over retirement? Where are all the people who say hooking up with the Clintons was such a good idea? I know what you're thinking. Did Hillary go down 22.5-million or only 20-million? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as Hillary Clinton is the most powerful politician in the world, and would eat your gizzard in a heartbeat, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya:

Posted by: Peggy McGilligan | June 26, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

As a California voter I will NOT cast my vote for this horrible person. I watched her on Greta Wire and I almost threw something at the TV. Karma, baby...Wait until November...

Posted by: anna | June 27, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse


Stop the Hillary hate already. Enough is enough...You can have your Barack Hussein Obama who really DO NOT know very much about the man, other that he likes to use words like "change" to attract young voters. The Clinton years were the best years I can remember. Maybe you don't know that because you were a little too young back then, but I do.

Posted by: anna | June 27, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Whether or not the speaker can speak is irrelevant. I had great hopes for her leadership but she has been an enormous disappointment to women and the nation.

Posted by: Karol | June 27, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Nancy has been one huge disappointment with her "impeachment off the table" and Bush water girl mentality. Just when we needed a strong leader to offset the "only if I were younger, wannabe" president, we get Nancy. Otherwise, may I suggest a resignation (she won't be missed) and I hope for a speedy recovery (although her impact was minimal while she could talk).

Posted by: Dave, Allentown,PA | June 27, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps one should walk a mile in nancy's shoes before such viriol. Perhaps her ineffectiveness is a function of too many "blue dog" democrats in the democratic caucus. Obviously the good work of Dennis K did not receive much support from dems, much less repubs. Perhaps her ineffectiveness is due to House of Representative dems that are more from the Clinton school of trickle-down economics then Robert kennedy, MLK, you know, a time when we had leaders.

Posted by: ambivalent in SF | June 27, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

If Speaker Pelosi for President I would be an enthusiastic supporter. She has an impossibly difficult job under present circumstances, and although I would wish for some comeuppance for Bush and company; I fully understand what she's trying to do and I am very proud of her. There's a first for women we should continue to honor.

Posted by: Pat Hamrick | June 27, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

If Speaker Pelosi for President I would be an enthusiastic supporter. She has an impossibly difficult job under present circumstances, and although I would wish for some comeuppance for Bush and company; I fully understand what she's trying to do and I am very proud of her. There's a first for women we should continue to honor.

Posted by: Pat Hamrick | June 27, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh Good God talk about a totally worthless
Democrat Political Hack Here As that is
DINO Mad Madame Nancy Pelosi to a tee!
Please San Francisco VOTE this old cretin
phony blinking owl "I took Impeachment off
the table,"LOSER Nancy Pelosi out! As Nutso
Nancy Pelosi is the Worst Speaker in All
Political Party History and a Total Complete Embarassment to all of us women.
And Nancy Pelosi belongs behind bars with
her fellow War Criminals George W Bush and
Draft Dodger Cheney! Just Say NO to Pelosi.

Posted by: Claudine 1000 | June 27, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I think Nancy losing her voice is so symbolic after her FISA vote this week silenced the voices of her constituents in California.

I see too that my Rep., Yarmuth, is still being paid off by Nancy for his vote for the FISA bill despite his previous votes against it. The day after the FISA vote she showed up with Yarmuth in Louisville for a "campaign event" and now he's with her again. My, my, one never ceases to be amazed by the representatives that are supposed to represent the people.

Posted by: pmorlan, Kentucky | June 28, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

By shielding Bush from accountability, Nancy "no cajones" Pelosi is complicit in his many high crimes and misdemeanors. She has got to go ...

Posted by: Chuck | June 30, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

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