— John R Chase (@JohnRChase) October 29, 2017
Apart from wishing Mr. Mueller true aim and a strong arm, what’s on the agenda as we start the week?
In the Washington Post, a male reporter complains that “Nancy Pelosi isn’t going anywhere”:
… “Let me just give you some hope,” the House Democratic leader told campaign donors on Oct. 17 at a private gathering on the patio of the Las Vegas Four Seasons Hotel. “Any time a president in office is below 50 percent in recent history, his party has lost the Congress in the next election.”
Her sample size was a bit small for comfort — in the past half-century, only the three most recent presidents have given up the House. But this was a pep talk, not an academic symposium.
Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat who has raised her party more than $633 million over the past 15 years, was on a seven-city, eight-day tour to show that the 2018 midterm campaign was in full swing. The Democratic effort to retake the House and return from the wilderness would probably rise or fall on the performance of one of the most polarizing figures in modern American politics…
After three decades in Congress, Pelosi, 77, makes an unlikely general to lead the troops into another change election. Her party, deemed elite and out of touch in 2016, is struggling to win back Midwestern working-class voters, and anger at Washington’s entrenched leaders is pretty much the only thing that unites the country.
But rather than shrink from the spotlight, Pelosi is once again in control — her party’s top fundraiser, senior midterm election strategist and top legislative negotiator, in partnership with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).
She has for months led a rolling battle with the Trump agenda, setting a disciplined, pugilistic tone for her caucus and casting herself as the official face of the resistance. With substantial help from the opposition, she has been winning more than not, at least as measured by a growing number of competitive seats, her ability to outmaneuver Republican leaders on Capitol Hill and Trump’s low approval ratings.…
“Self-promotion is a terrible thing, but evidently someone has to do it,” she explained a few days earlier, sitting in her Capitol office for one of several interviews with The Washington Post over the past two weeks. “The minute you do better, they will come after you, and that’s why they come after me.”
No one doubts that Pelosi can put points on the board. In the three months that ended in September, she held 165 fundraising events in 35 cities, raising $38.9 million for House Democrats — helping top the committee fundraising haul of Republicans, according to her aides…
Behind the scenes, Pelosi has been working with Republicans to undermine the Trump agenda. In recent months, she has strategized with Republican governors over preserving key parts of the ACA. She described Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval as a “resource on persuading others” to resist Medicaid cuts, and aides said she also talked with Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, an independent. A spokesman for Walker confirmed the conversations; the offices of Sandoval and Kasich did not reply to a request for comment.
She also has led her caucus to negotiating victories in Washington. The budget agreement this past spring failed to fund most Republican priorities, including a new border wall, while providing billions for medical research, disaster funding and college grants. “Even though they had the signature and two majorities, we ate their lunch,” Pelosi boasted. “That’s what we do.” …
The big task before Pelosi, the one that will ultimately seal or undermine her legacy, is the Democratic preparation for 2018. Her plan is much the same as in 2006: Keep her members focused on an economic message — “better jobs, better wages, better future” — raise a ton of money, recruit candidates and endlessly repeat her revolving databank of alliterative catchphrase trifectas.
“Money, message and mobilization,” she says to describe Democratic priorities. “Cronyism, corruption and incompetence” is another, which she invokes to describe the party of Trump, echoing a phrase she deployed against President George W. Bush…
She also maintains an unflinching focus on her historic achievement. One of the reasons Pelosi did not follow through with her plan to step aside after the last election, she said, was the realization that without Hillary Clinton in the White House, she remained the only senior woman in government.
“I am a master legislator. I just love it,” she said of her inherited appetites. “I consider myself a weaver, like I have a loom. And I bring all these different threads together.”
While Pelosi said she has never experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, she also believes that the unacceptable level of sexism in the culture has changed little since the 1980s. “No, it’s about the same: nick, nick, nick, nick,” she said, pointing with her hands to demonstrate how women’s power is undercut by the men. This is one of the reasons, she said, that she is so unabashed about pointing out her own abilities…
Despite the reporter’s obvious negative bias, it’s worth reading the whole thing; if there’s one thing Nancy Smash is used to dealing with, it’s jealous men trying to undermine her. May your shadow never grow less, Past-and-(hopefully)-Future Madam Speaker!