— The Hill (@thehill) July 21, 2018
You come at the queen, you best not miss. Tim Dickinson, in Rolling Stone, interviews “the House Minority Leader on the midterms, impeachment, her own party, sexism and the sexist-in-chief”:
… Pelosi is one of the most powerful women in global politics. She gets credit for securing passage of much of the legislation in the Obama legacy, including the Recovery Act, Wall Street reform and especially the Affordable Care Act. “Nancy Pelosi has been one of the most transformational figures in the modern Democratic Party,” says Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez. Pelosi also spearheaded the takeover of the House a dozen years ago in 2006 – an achievement that has become fodder for her critics. “Leader Pelosi has talked about how we need to do what we did in 2006,” says Rep. Seth Moulton, an ambitious Massachusetts Democrat who argues for a “new generation” of House leadership. “I mean, we barely had iPhones in 2006 – it was a different world.”
But for all the talk about Nancy Pelosi, less time has been spent actually listening to her. Rolling Stone sat down with Pelosi for an hour on a May evening in Des Moines, Iowa, where she was raising money for the local Democratic Party. At the fundraiser, standing before a wall-sized American flag, Pelosi sought to flatten the difference between President Trump and GOP candidates. “He’s their guy,” she says of Trump. “Make no mistake: This election, it’s not – well it’s about him in certain respects, we can’t ignore that – but it’s about them.”…
I want to dig in on 2018 and understand how you’re thinking about the election and how the angles break.
When Hillary didn’t win, people said, “Can you win the House?” And I said, “I’ll tell you in a year.” Because it matters where the president is a year out. If he’s under 50 [percent approval rating], we can win it. Just to put in a little historical perspective. In ‘05 and ‘06, [former Democratic Senate leader] Harry Reid and I said, “We’re going to win the Congress.” People said, “No way. It’s going to be a permanent Republican majority.” Bush had just won. In January of ‘05, he was at 58 percent in the polls. The war in Iraq; people in the streets; he’s at 58 percent in the polls. We would have to bring his numbers down. And he gave us a gift: He was going to privatize Social Security. [That] helped take his numbers down, into like the 40s. What other difference did we want to emphasize? It was “Drain the swamp.” That was ours. [Trump] stole it from us. “End the culture of cronyism, incompetence and corruption.” That was our thing. They were getting indicted, subpoenaed all over the place. And then Hurricane Katrina: Cronyism and incompetence. Thirty-eight percent in September.
With Trump, he’s done the heavy lifting for you?
We can’t take credit for taking his numbers down, but for taking advantage of the opportunity it presented. To keep [his numbers] down we had to make sure people understood what Republicans were trying to do with the Affordable Care Act, what they were doing in terms of inequality and the disparity of income. Anyway, he was at 38 to 40 percent a year before the  election. So, they get the retirements. I think it’s 46 today. And we get the A-Team on the field. We would like to say we recruited [our candidates]. Trump recruited them for us. [Laughs.] We’re in a very good place now…
We’ve seen consecutive Republican speakers flame out, essentially, because they couldn’t deal with the insurgency on their right flank. What is your secret to keeping Democrats united?
I’m really good at what I do. I’m a legislative virtuoso. I really love legislating. It takes knowledge, and experience, institutional memory. I was forged in the Intelligence Committee and especially the Appropriations Committee. I know how you can reach agreement…
Your critics say you’re too liberal–
I’m [pro-] LGBTQ, I support those issues. I’m proud to. But they use that – they go into these districts and they say, “Too liberal.”
San Francisco values–
Which are the values of Saint Francis – “Make me a channel for thy peace.” You have a problem with that? I’m proud of all of that. I don’t think the [Democratic candidates] who say, “I’m not going to vote for Nancy” are disassociating themselves from the progressive agenda, or LGBTQ equality. They’re just responding to an ad in their district…
Is there a margin you need to secure that gavel? You talked about wanting to win 35 seats.
No, no. You only have to win [the leadership vote] in your caucus – and then you go to the floor [for the speakership vote]. People vote for the Democrat or they vote for the Republican. So I feel very comfortable about that. But I don’t feel like talking about it. My time is money, and mobilization and the rest. Part of it is messaging – and talking about me and what happens to me is the least important part of all of it.
I think some of it is a little bit on the sexist side – although I wouldn’t normally say that. Except it’s like, really? Has anyone asked whatshisname, the one who’s the head of Senate?
[Aide Jorge Aguilar who is sitting beside Pelosi] McConnell.
McConnell. I mean he’s got the lowest numbers of anybody in the world. Have you ever gone up to him and said, “How much longer do you think you’ll stay in this job?” Nobody ever went up to Harry Reid and said that. Nobody ever says that to anybody except a woman. But it’s a thing.
And you know what? You get the upside and the downside of it. The one thing I want women to know is that you don’t walk away from a fight. You don’t let them make your decisions for you. I don’t mean to sound arrogant. But I am confident. I am confident.
“Whatshisname.” SHADE THROWN!