Nancy Pelosi Steps into the Fire

16 11 2006

Just heard her first post-caucus leadership address to the media . . .here’s what struck me, about what she said and how she said it:

a) She isn’t comfortable with public spiritual-speak but apparently feels she needs to use it, so it rings false — she said her parents were “looking down from up there” (if she couldn’t even say “heaven” why not simply say “they are with me” or some other variation?) and then later she stumbled to backtrack into a “church” reference: “as we say in church, let there be healing and let it begin with us” (??)

That’s not what anybody says, in church or otherwise, is it? 🙂

b) She annoyed me right off the bat, by blowing off being the first “woman” speaker –which I nodded to, figuring she’d follow up with saying she planned to be everybody’s speaker, for principles beyond gender/ sex. The Speaker represents the whole house and all the people, not just her party.

But no! She said PARTY was more important than being a woman — she’s delighted to be a Democratic speaker, not a woman speaker. Ruined the whole thing, at least for me (as a woman) who thinks party politics obstruct rather than advance principles and progress for all Americans. And it sure made the healing unity message that followed ring false!

Shouldn’t she be better at this by now? Of course she had just suffered a loss of face, but still . . . that’s politics. Oh well, I’ll think more about it, this is just my instant impression. Anyone else see her differently today?Pe4losi with new team NYT

UPDATE: NYT’s take on it:

The speaker is the party’s top figure in the House, but that position also carries a broader role as a constitutional officer charged with representing the interests of the full chamber.

Some Democrats said . . . many lawmakers had concluded that the best chance of limiting any bitterness was to install Mr. Hoyer and, in effect, save Ms. Pelosi from

what they characterized as a flawed decision.

Mr. Emanuel and others said the vote was also a vivid display of the independence of Democrats, which he contrasted with the tight control the Republican leadership has exerted over its membership for much of the past six years. “This is the strength of diversity and people speaking their minds,” he said.

. . .Ms. Pelosi’s party problems are not all behind her, as she faces a tough decision on selecting a chairman of the Intelligence Committee. On the one hand, she is under pressure from black lawmakers to promote a committee veteran, Alcee L. Hastings of Florida, a federal judge who was removed from the bench by Congress after a bribery charge in 1989, though he was acquitted in a criminal case.

At the same time, some more conservative Democrats who supported Mr. Hoyer have been stepping up their campaign for Representative Jane Harman of California, who is the senior Democrat on the panel but has clashed with Ms. Pelosi.



One response

17 11 2006

I was in Florida public life and remember well when the Alcee Hastings scandal went down. It led into into another state and national “drain the swamp movement” in the early 90s, just like the current one except back then, it was Dems losing power they’d abused and Rs coming in gleefully as underdog corruption crusaders.)

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