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Speaker Nancy Pelosi

By Jonathan Capehart

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) didn't inspire much confidence in me as I watched her on "Meet the Press" in May 2006. To be blunt, I thought she'd be a disaster as the Democratic speaker of the House. Boy, was I wrong.

After the Democratic Party took over the House in 2006, Pelosi held a disparate caucus together. She welcomed more members in 2008. More importantly, Pelosi delivered the votes President Obama needed to make good on the promises on which he campaigned. Climate change and health-care reform were two of them. They were two of many tough votes her members had to cast. And they contributed to the defeat of enough of them to hand control of the House to the Republicans.

At a meeting with opinion writers at the Capitol on Oct. 1, Pelosi said that she told her members to do what they needed to do to win. If that meant running negative ads against her, distancing themselves from her, so be it. Pelosi wanted her members to win. Say what you want about the San Francisco liberal, she had clarity of vision for what she wanted to do and how to do it. She was strategic. She was a political warrior.

When Pelosi returns to Washington for the lame duck session, she should be proud of what Democrats were able to accomplish under the most difficult economic environments in decades. I didn't expect to be saying this in 2006. Four years later, I'm impressed by what I've seen.

By Jonathan Capehart  | November 2, 2010; 10:24 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

"I'm impressed by what I've seen".
==========================================

Honestly? WOW, Jon, I wouldn't say that too loudly. Pelosi has been the biggest joke of any Speaker in the History of our country! She ran the most ineffective house in history, not to mention the most unethical. And let us not forget all of the non-binding resolutions she was so proud of. By the way, what is a non-binding resolution anyways? Silly, just a silly waste of time!

Posted by: sanmateo1850 | November 2, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve, as a Democrat, in the U. S. House of Representatives with a woman of the calibre, class and strategic brilliance of Nancy Pelosi. Because of her every American has access to affordable health care. Because of her forgotten leaders of American history like Sojourner Truth are remembered in the U. S. Capital. Because of her a woman named Lilly Ledbetter now has a law of the land named after her that ensures that women are paid equally for their work. Because of her a whole generation of young women can dream a little bigger and rise a little farther in life knowing that their gender need not be a barrier. History will remember the dynamic leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and not the small-minded words and petty deeds of her detractors.

Sharon Jenkins

Posted by: smjenkins01 | November 2, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm from California and a life long Democrat. Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer have been an embarrassment for this state. Both have self serving agenda's and I didn't vote for either of them.

Posted by: npsilver | November 3, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

So what you're saying is that if you win, you are great. It matters not the content of the win, the spirit of the win, the service or rather disservice to constituents. Perhaps this is a standard for "impressive" when gauging POLITICIANS, but surely she -- and you -- have missed the boat completely as we need STATESMEN to do our bidding rathern than POLITICIANS, looking to self serve.

Posted by: info13 | November 3, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

I think if Harry Ried was half the leader Nancy Pelosi is the Democrats wouldn't have lost the house. She constantly got things done in the house, that Reid couldn't get passed even with the largest (senate) majorities in several decades. It is ironic that the control of the house was lost because of the number of (house) elections and the senate remained in control of the Democrats, for the same reason. Clearly it was the Senate that did most of the damage to the Democratic party.

It will be widely reported that this election was a rebuttal of the Democrats. However what is usually overlooked in midterm elections is how few people actually voted. Somewhere around six percent of the population dramatically changed the landscape of congress. This is easy to do in midterms because it is usually the voters of the party out of power, who are most inspired to vote for change. Meanwhile the liberal base of the Democrats mostly feels abandoned. Gitmo is still open, Don't ask don't tell has yet to be voted on, the public option on health care was abandoned without much of a fight, the list goes on. In other words where is the change? All those young voters who so wanted to make the country better, by electing the democrats, mostly stayed home to do their homework. They (rightfully) believe there is no difference between this administration and the last one. The Democrats had their chance to make the changes they have wanted for a long time. Instead they got embarrassed by their own belief in the strength of America. Now they can sit home and watch as the Republicans make the changes. Because say what you want about how good or bad their polices may be. There are two things the republicans are good at it is getting elected and things done.

Posted by: Neilfrisch | November 3, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

The GOP takes the house in an historic sweep ..... clearly the American people were not impressed with Pelosi.

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | November 3, 2010 3:19 AM | Report abuse

I am a right wing conservative and I don't support Pelosi, but I have to say she was effective for her caucus.

Posted by: rs824407 | November 3, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Nancy Pelosi, as Speaker, was 3rd in line to the Presidency. She never once demonstrated one iota of statesmanship in that role. She was the daughter of long-time political hacks in Baltimore and learned well at her father's side. I'm 61 years old, and I have never seen a Speaker who was more divisive than Pelosi. The left didn't like Gingrich, but, if they were reflective at all, they knew that he was a PhD in History and spoke with a certain gravitas. Poll after poll showed that Pelosi was literally despised by a large portion of the country. She represented the very worst in "winner take all" politics. Can you imagine her sitting down with George W over breakfast and having conversation like Tip O'Neal did with Reagan? She and Harry Reid should demonstrate decency and just leave. Does anyone want any of these tired old hacks--Republican or Democrat--at the trough for another term? Her state is bankrupt, as are most of the other Democrat controlled states. My home state, Illinois, is completely broke and we still re-elected a tired old Democrat hack to the govenorship. I guess true reform won't come until these Blue states go completely under and default on all their financial obligations. Nancy should just take all her fat pensions and go home.

Posted by: kmsbears | November 3, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

"boy was I wrong"
this is a joke right?

Posted by: mcsquared65 | November 3, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"boy was I wrong"
this is a joke right?

Posted by: mcsquared65 | November 3, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"She was a political warrior." We, the People, do not need warriors in Congress. That is the place of diplomacy, the Pentagon handles the warrior jobs. This is what is wrong with Congress. Reid talked of entering the "nest round" and "coming out fighting" rather than coming out talking, debating and reasoning. We the People are tired of this adversary relationship. We went to war because our diplomacy failed...that is what war is failure of our politicians to do their job. Well, Pelosi and most in Congress (reagardless of party) are terrible failures and incompetents. She probably is one of the worse (along with Reid, Dodd, and Franks)and should move to the back of her own party and allow more thinkers up front. WaPo needs to take a week or so off, go to the mountains and clear their heads and get away from the combative nature of Congress and then come back and gain a new perspective as the Democrats now become the "Party of NO". I predict the same ole crap.

Posted by: staterighter | November 3, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

As much as she may have accomplished, there is something about Pelosi that rankles. I can't even say what it is particularly - smoothness?

Pelosi sold out too much of the wrong kinds of things to pass the legislation she was asked to pass. Her deals became too public. I do not believe she did anything that another politician would have done, including Republicans, but they would have kept some of that deal making a little quieter.

I dislike the Nazi-like knee jerk marching the Republicans demand of those in their party. I greatly dislike the refusal to compromise to reach agreement and keep the country moving forward. But, you have to admire how smoothly underhanded they are.

Posted by: amelia45 | November 3, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

And a once-smug Nancy Pelosi turned her back to the room and occasionally glanced over her shoulder in shame, then turned and faced the wall and would not turn around for the rest of the evening....

-- "The Election Papers", page 48 by RealTexan

Posted by: RealTexan1 | November 3, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

"Boy, was I wrong"


Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha......boy, you guys at the "Post" sure know how to carry the water for the Democrats.
By the way Jonathan, I think there is another bedpan they need you to empty for them.

Posted by: MarkFromVa | November 3, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry... Climate Change? I'm in the alternative energy business and our position is Health Care tangled everything up for so long, climate change was abandoned. Where are we on cap and trade? He made inferences about making investment in renewable energy akin to the investment in the interstate highway system. Where is that??

How about a national renewable energy portfolio with real teeth in it? Targets are nice, but in a lethargic society it's just to easy to get there and say "oh, well. Didn't make it. We tried though!".

We sought to get access to ARRA $$$ in 3 states because the administration said it was there. The States say it is not, at least not for private enterprise.

I think a brush of a smaller size is in order when painting on this canvas.

Posted by: Argonknot | November 4, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Your first opinion was the correct one. She was a DISASTER.

Posted by: GaPeech | November 4, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Sharon Jenkins must be drunk on some of that rarefied, liberal air she's been sucking in for the past several years. Get a grip, Sharon. The American people just told you what they think about Nancy Pelosi and your liberal agenda. Americans want the right to determine their own destinies, not the government telling them what to do, how to do it and what to think. You, Nancy Pelosi and other like-minded people are the problem. Your hubris is unbounded, your self-congratulatory egos unrestrained, both exceeded only by your Narcissism.

Posted by: capitalistpig1 | November 4, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Sharon Jenkins must be drunk on some of that rarefied, liberal air she's been sucking in for the past several years. Get a grip, Sharon. The American people just told you what they think about Nancy Pelosi and your liberal agenda. Americans want the right to determine their own destinies, not the government telling them what to do, how to do it and what to think. You, Nancy Pelosi and other like-minded people are the problem. Your hubris is unbounded, your self-congratulatory egos unrestrained, both exceeded only by your Narcissism.

Posted by: capitalistpig1 | November 4, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

That is the most blantant cool-aid drinking I have heard lately.Praising a woman who couldn't accidently say something honest, and you even pointed it out. The democratic party have put us in more dept than the republicans did in 10 years, and they accomplished it in record time and money spent. The federal government changes all the time, and every administration is passed on some baggage they blame the previous administration for. That is why you got voted in, remember "Change"? The change I have seen flat out scares me. Back door deals, and ramming legislation through that was clear the american people didn't want. They ignore the truth and expect you to believe them with NO facts.("They" means Obama And Pelosi)If you can honestly sit there and say you're proud of what she is and done, you do not speak from facts and embrace the dishonesty you gloat about Pelosi. That is Yellow Journalism, and trying to blind the American people that the dark skies are blue. I guess some people will say and do anything for a paycheck, and or line their own pockets. I would like just one person to step up and HONESTLY want what is best for America. Stop your indoctrination, and stand up outside your party. Your children are given what you leave behind, and so far it is a 400,000 dollar dept per person.

Posted by: oppsworld | November 4, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

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