May 6, 2020

Sorry, Nancy

Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi
On August 4, 2018, I wrote a post titled “The Wisdom of Dumping Pelosi.” I argued that Nancy Pelosi, who was then minority leader in the House of Representatives, had become a lightning rod for Republican criticism. I suggested that her reputation among Republicans could have negative consequences in the upcoming congressional elections.

I am writing this post today to apologize for that earlier essay. I mistakenly suggested that Pelosi’s negatives among Republicans could have consequences analogous to those of Hillary Clinton in 2016. Of course, this concern was much overblown. Clinton was widely disliked by citizens of all stripes, and that attitude clearly affected presidential votes. Pelosi, however, was only running in her own district, and her influence on congressional elections generally was likely slight.

Even were Pelosi’s remaining as minority leader a negative influence for Democrats in their various races, it turns out that Ms. Pelosi is an enormous asset to the party. She is, in fact, one of the most—perhaps the most—talented politician on the national scene. It would have been a tragedy to lose her talents in the House.

Republican operatives will smear any Democrat they view as a threat to their exercise of power. If Ms. Pelosi were “dumped,” as I suggested, Republicans would easily have found other Democrats and other Democratic policies to trash.

The Democrats did not dump Pelosi, and we are better off for it. To Nancy Pelosi, I can only say, “I’m sorry.”

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