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Pelosi as Political Liability?

Sensing opportunity, House Republicans have begun a campaign of television and radio ads as well as robocalls into the districts of vulnerable Democrats attempting to link them to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's allegation that the CIA misled her on the treatment of terrorist detainees.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is sponsoring television ads against Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-Md.) in his strongly Republican eastern shore district and radio commercials against Reps. Harry Teague (N.M.), Vic Snyder (Ark.), Stephanie Herseth (S.D.), Suzanne Kosmas (Fla.), Glenn Nye (Va.) and Tom Perriello (Va.). Another 18 Democratic members are getting automated calls into their districts.

The ads, which play off the "Mission Impossible" theme, feature a clip of Pelosi insisting she was misled by the country's intelligence gathering service as these words appear on screen: "But misleading Congress would be a crime, so why won't Pelosi investigate the 'crime'?"

The ad against Kratovil goes on to note that he voted with Pelosi to block an investigation into the allegations and that he has supported her 89 percent of the time since the 111th Congress convened four months ago.

As we wrote last week, Republicans believe Pelosi's awkward (at best) press conference in which she made her allegations regarding the CIA was a major mistake and, therefore, an real electoral opportunity.

"Accusing the CIA of criminal activity might make Nancy Pelosi popular with her San Francisco constituents, but it also makes her a liability in swing districts across the country," said Ken Spain, communications director of the National Republican Congressional Committee. "The longer she continues to drive a wedge between herself and the Democratic caucus, the more of a campaign issue she will become."

Not so, according to Ryan Rudominer, press secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Polls show that Americans are reacting badly to House Republicans lack of ideas, obstruction, and commitment to the politics of the past," he said.

Republicans aren't likely to back off the Pelosi attack any time soon since it is one of the only places where they believe they have any sort of issue foothold with the American people.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 28, 2009; 2:51 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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Comments

owens1 and newbeeboy:

At least we all agree on the "she should go" part ; )

Posted by: JakeD | May 29, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I would have loved to see Pelosi, as the first woman Speaker of the House, suceed wildly. When she took impeachment of Bush off the table, she utterly failed to do a critically important part of the Speaker job. The country can not heal unless the truth is told and wrong doers are held to account, and that won't happen on her watch, so she should go.

Posted by: owens1 | May 29, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Political Liability is a proper euphemism for 'Anchor Around the Neck'.

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 29, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Both the Reps and the Dems have extremists within their ranks. Pelosi and Reid are the two Dem-nitwits that, if they're managed, have the potential to undermine Obama's agenda. He'll have, and has, enough on his hands dealing with Congress in general that he doesn't need congressmen with their own agenda's mucking up the water. Of course, Pelosi's agenda is her's alone and she'll torpedo the President's if that what it takes to further her own leftist agenda.

Posted by: skiloypet | May 29, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

The democrits will not listen to any plan the Republicans have. BO's bipartianship is zero - it was a lie, too. BO has quietened Pelosi for the moment by sending her to China. Maybe they will KEEP her!

Hopefully, those attending Tea Parties, the silent majority of 2008, will go to the polls in 2010 and 2012! If they do not, we will all be SLAVES to our government.

Posted by: annnort | May 29, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Nancy Pelosi's CIA statement is almost irrelevant compared to the hollow record she and Harry Reid have established with their Democratic majorities. Little wonder. Neither inspires, and neither rises to the intellectual level of President Obama and neither has a grand view of their country. Pelosi essentially is a precinct politician and Reid is just plain tired and out of gas.

Posted by: Irishvetter | May 29, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

At the moment, Obama has no political liabilities, but when all his attempts to impose a Marxist/Socialist economy and government on us collapse, in the next few years, then many things will be liabilities for him. Pelosi is an arch-leftist, which Obama loves, but she is also an idiot, and this he does not love.
When things turn sour for this guy, then he will get rid of her.

Posted by: walterndebby | May 29, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

If the democratic party wants to keep going forward then Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have to go as they both drag the party down. As a strong democrat I and millions of others say get them out.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | May 29, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

If the democratic party wants to keep going forward then Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have to go as they both drag the party down. As a strong democrat I and millions of others say get them out.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | May 29, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Kratovil's position on the Eastern shore is dangerous to say the least. So every attack on him is big. But attacking him with label ads like this is a stupid move by the RNC. Labels are failed against him in 2008. In the end he lost suburbia but every county on the eastern shore decided they could trust one of their own.

First thing the RNC should do is crawl back to Wayne Gilchrest on their hands and knees and beg him to represent them in MD-1 forever, which is sadly not likely. But failing that, they need to look at local elections like this all over the country and find themselves real candidates with real messages. They need a message beyond "I'm a republican, I hate liberals."

Posted by: theamazingjex | May 29, 2009 2:38 AM | Report abuse

Next up? Republicans will field a presidential candidate in 2013.

Posted by: dastubbs

==

Yeah probably that ambitious empty suit Mitt Romney, stomping across the stage, centering his tie and foaming with nonsense about "the marketplace." He'll probably take Utah and one or two southern states, where turnout will be lukewarm because the bibble belt won't muster a lot of enthusiasm for a mormon

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 29, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Another piece of manufactured news, poor befuddled Republicans still thinking they can "create their own relaity" by manipulating perceptions, and nobody but the teabaggers buying it at all.

This is what you get by only listening to people who already agree with you. Bush is gone but the Bubble remains.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 29, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

gnovak wrote: "Why is Nancy Pelosi visiting China . . . Why do, we have Mrs. Clinton, Secretary of State. Exactly what role does she play.
Why is the media backing off Pelosi regarding her comments on the CIA."

While we're at it, why do fools post rhetorical questions on anonymous blogs?

Posted by: nodebris | May 29, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Cheney was a key member of the Bush administration who ordered torture to gain confessions to link Bin Laden with Hussein.
When it was discovered that no one cared about a reason to invade Iraq, Cheney discontinued the program. Now he claims that waterboarding does not meet the legal definition for torture and it saved untold thousands of innocent lives. Truly, this person had our interests at heart and not some corporation like Haliburton.
To vilify him is unjust, so lets pick on the Speaker of the House instead.

And they said Ross Perot was crazy.

Posted by: seemstome | May 28, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi is fine and carries a lot of wood and water for Democrats. The CIA needs to clean up its act. The Republicans can pay for ads and make all the noise they want to make. Aside from their 33% base of fools no one is voting for them anyway until they pull themselves out of their 1950's church social lives and take responsibility for the disaster they've made of our country.

Posted by: txajohnson | May 28, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Great timing! GOP leader Rush Limbaugh and other republicans are currently trashing Sotomayor so the NRCC spends money on an attack ad against Pelosi.


Next up? Republicans will field a presidential candidate in 2013.

Posted by: dastubbs | May 28, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Why is Nancy Pelosi visiting China. It appears that she is having difficulty running the house, let alone vacationing around the world at taxpayers expense. Why do, we have Mrs. Clinton, Secretary of State. Exactly what role does she play.
Why is the media backing off Pelosi regarding her comments on the CIA. If she was telling the truth then someone at the CIA should be in jail. The American public is anxious to know the truth.

Posted by: gnovak | May 28, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

So, the latest piece of GOP strategery is to try stirring up public sympathy for car dealers?

Good luck with that, guys.

Posted by: nodebris | May 28, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

"DDAWD -

You will make a great central planner!"

Apparently so would the other millions of people who have spent more than thirty seconds studying statistics.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 28, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD -

You will make a great central planner!

Posted by: leapin

==

I just LOVE how you goopers have managed to convince yourselves that only Stalinists make plans.

Nice to know you run your lives, and your political campaigns, without any planning.

And oh does it show

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 28, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Nancy lies a little but makes great cookies!

Posted by: leapin | May 28, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

This is a pathetic attempt to keep alive an issue which has no relevance with the American people. It’s desperate and will be a failure.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | May 28, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

The Rs targeted Nancy during the last election too, and that worked out really well. Keep it up, losers.

Posted by: drindl | May 28, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD -

You will make a great central planner!

Posted by: leapin | May 28, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

"Thus, the odds that any, randomly selected, single dealership would remain open is roughly 75%. The odds that a single dealership would close is roughly 25%.

In the Bentonville, AR territory, the odds that RLJ would remain while its competition gets axed is .75 * .25 * .25 = .046875 (4.6%).

In Huntsville, AL, the odds are .75 * .25 * .25 = .046875.

In Branson, MO, .75 * .25 *.25 *.25 = .01171875.

In Lee's Summit, MO, .75 * .25 *.25 *.25 *.25 = .0029296875.

In Shreveport, LA, .75 * .25 *.75 = .140625."


So let's imagine a hypothetical place with four dealerships. Three of them stay open while one closes.

.75*.75*.75*.25=.10

So according to zook, there is only a 10% chance that three out of four dealerships in an area stay open.

What about 6/8?

.75^6*.25^2=0.01 Yup, a 1% chance that 75% of the dealers in an eight dealer area stay open.

I know Republicans look down on people with college degrees, but you all might consider having one or two around. At the very least, they would keep you from embarassing yourselves with things like this.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 28, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

No wonder the DSP is dying. No ideas. No vision. Just unhinged socialism 24/7. Pelosi is NOT going anywhere, and she will not be affected long-term by this event due to MSM cover. You'd think the people at the RNC would know this. A desperate party will do anything, and that's what the DSP is--tired, a haven of lawlessness and tyranny, and increasingly destructive.

Posted by: leapin | May 28, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

"She's fast becoming as radioactive as North Korea."

Good luck with this guys, really. I hope the RNC spends every penny they've got on this campaign. I would wager that 95% of Americans could give a rat's a$$ about what Pelosi said or knew or what she said the CIA said or what the CIA said they said, etc.

But if you guys think this is going to help you win elections, PLEASE keep it up.

Similar tactics were tried in New York's 20th and it worked out so well for you in that conservative district (well, the King of Zouk DID proudly declare victory...until he found out that the Republican actually lost).

But really, let's get back to whether the CIA told Pelosi that they were torturing people.

You realize, don't you, that the Republicans are actually going to LOSE seats in next year's mid-terms?

Posted by: Bondosan | May 28, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | May 28, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

been waiting for this, time to release the hounds.... (commercials casting repugs as sexist, mysogenistic) so we can get some traction in the hard core districts by turning those couples into singles.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | May 28, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

What are the Odds?
All other factors being equal, what are the odds that RLJ's dealerships would remain open while all other area dealerships would be shuttered? The approximate odds of such an occurrence can be calculated. 789 of the Chrysler's dealerships are closing, which represents 25% of the total (according to MSNBC).

Recall that Chrysler claimed that its formula for determining whether a dealership should close or not included "sales volume, customer service scores, local market share and average household income in the immediate area."

Thus, the odds that any, randomly selected, single dealership would remain open is roughly 75%. The odds that a single dealership would close is roughly 25%.

In the Bentonville, AR territory, the odds that RLJ would remain while its competition gets axed is .75 * .25 * .25 = .046875 (4.6%).

In Huntsville, AL, the odds are .75 * .25 * .25 = .046875.

In Branson, MO, .75 * .25 *.25 *.25 = .01171875.

In Lee's Summit, MO, .75 * .25 *.25 *.25 *.25 = .0029296875.

In Shreveport, LA, .75 * .25 *.75 = .140625.

What are the odds of all of these RLJ dealerships remaining open while their competitors are wiped out? Maybe 1/10,000,000 of 1%. Yes, that's one ten-millionth of one percent.

Approximately the odds that I'll win American Idol. Or that you'll land two frisbees, simultaneously, on each of Barack Obama's teleprompters during one of his televised speeches.

http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2009/05/dealergate-statistical-evidence-that.html


Another review of all 789 closing dealerships, by WND, found $450,000 donated to GOP presidential candidates; $7,970 to Sen. Hillary Clinton; $2,200 to John Edwards and $450 to Barack Obama.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | May 28, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

drindl - TOTUS is the most important team member of this Administration. Even Joe Biden knows that.

Posted by: VaPatriot | May 28, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

There were ads in Louisiana saying that Mary Landrieu voted with Obama like 85% of the time. Landrieu got re-elected by a large margin even though Obama lost by a large margin. At least in this case, it failed.

You could argue that it worked in the case of tying Bush and McCain, but I don't think that 90% thing played as much of a role as a lot of other factors.

I don't think people really do the association thing. People tend to judge their Congressperson individually.

It would be an interesting thing to poll, though.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 28, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Where is Madam Pelosi? Is she hiding or has the CIA got her locked up somewhere she can't get into any mischief? Jake D. you have it right-Madam Pelosi is hiding and waiting for the smoke to clear and for all her constituents and the CIA to forget about her little white lie concerning her accusation that the CIA lied and only she knows the truth. God help her with her insane activities.Because she has run out of constituents who claim to understand her lies or admit to even knowing her.

Posted by: a4853916 | May 28, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I do not want to see her removed as Speaker.

The more Pelosi speaks, the better.

But back to reality, she will keep shoving her foot in her mouth and the Dems will be forced to do something.

She's fast becoming as radioactive as North Korea.

Posted by: VaPatriot | May 28, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"Sensing opportunity" -- dream on, Cilizza. Sensing defeat is more like it. These losers don't realize that only the neonazis of the right have an obsession with pelosi, most of america neither knows nor cares, and can only be shaking their heads in bafflement that the republicans are unable to even talk about the real problems people face, and instead are focusing on soemthing no one else gives a damn about.

"
"I would love to see more explanations by Pelosi about what she knew and when she knew it sans teleprompter."

This is the R party of today --an obssesive cult of crazies who worship a teleprompter. No wonder no one with any brains wants to have anything to do with it.

Posted by: drindl | May 28, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

If you say anything bad about Steele, you are a racist.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | May 28, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

No wonder the GOP is dying. No ideas. No vision. Just unhinged attacks 24/7. Pelosi is NOT going anywhere, and she will not be affected long-term by this event. You'd think the people at the RNC would know this, but with dingbats like Michael Steele in charge, I can only sit back and wonder what he'll do next. A desperate party will do anything, and that's what the GOP is--tired, a haven of bigotry and intolerance, and increasingly irrelevant.

Posted by: profyle424 | May 28, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

king_of_zouk:

Move along, move along; there's nothing to see here. Voters want results, not catfights.

Posted by: JakeD | May 28, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Between the three stooges of Peloony, Reid and Obambi, one can only conclude that a mind is a terrible thing to make up.

I got whiplash trying to follow their stated views.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | May 28, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

While Speaker Pelosi is doing herself & her party no favors in the way she is handling the CIA snafu, the GOP Reps trying to use the mess to gain political advantage are spending a lot of time pursuing a longshot political strategy. Voters want results, not catfights.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 28, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I would love to see more explanations by Pelosi about what she knew and when she knew it sans teleprompter.

It is almost as entertaining as listening to POTUS sans TOTUS.

And to think libs used to savage Bush when he is absolutely silver-tongued compared to Barry.

Posted by: VaPatriot | May 28, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, it does makes her a liability in swing districts across the country.

Posted by: JakeD | May 28, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

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