Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Pelosi’

Nancy Pelosi hints at short-term lease on House speakership — “I see myself as a transitional figure.”

October 20, 2018
Nancy Pelosi hints at short-term lease on House speakership


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks to volunteers after an Oct. 17 get-out-the-vote event for Democratic candidates in Coral Gables, Fla. (Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)

Democrats have yet to win a House majority and Nancy Pelosi’s return as speaker is by no means certain, but already she has one eye on the exits.


“I see myself as a transitional figure,” Pelosi said in an interview in which she professed utmost confidence that, should Democrats take control of the chamber on Nov. 6, she will again assume the top leadership position. “I have things to do. Books to write; places to go; grandchildren, first and foremost, to love.”


Los Angeles Times
OCT 19, 2018
 | 1:55 PM | MIAMI

She hastened to add she was not imposing a limit on her tenure. “Do you think I would make myself a lame duck right here over this double-espresso?” the San Francisco Democrat said Thursday in a downtown Miami cafe, with a raised eyebrow and a laugh.


By implicitly limiting her time as speaker, the 78-year-old Pelosi could ease the pressure to stand aside by signaling her willingness for a new and younger generation of leaders to take over sooner rather than later.


Pelosi has quietly been grooming potential successors, among them Rep. Adam Schiff of Burbank, and though she said she would be delighted to hand the speaker’s gavel to another woman — “Oh, yeah!” she exclaimed — she has no plans to try to force a choice.

Image result for Adam Schiff, photos

Adam Schiff

“Whoever is next is not up to me,” she said. “If I were saying, ‘I want so-and-so to be my successor,’ that’s not right.”


Pelosi made history in January 2007 when she became the first female speaker in history, a post she relinquished four years later after Republicans seized control of the House in a 2010 midterm landslide.


She has held the job of House minority leader ever since, raising hundreds of millions of dollars for Democrats but also serving as a favorite GOP foil. This election cycle alone Pelosi has appeared in tens of thousands of ads, the overwhelming majority of them negative.


Some Democrats — especially in competitive races — have sought to distance themselves from their congressional leader, whose liberal philosophy and San Francisco pedigree have made her Republican shorthand for out-of-touch, left-wing elitism. Dozens of House candidates have called for a change in the Democratic leadership or vowed not to support Pelosi’s return as speaker.


A recent series of polls conducted in half a dozen hotly contested California House districts illustrated the political dynamic at work. In each of the six districts, more than 60% of voters said they opposed the idea of Pelosi becoming speaker, according to the survey conducted for the Los Angeles Times by UC Berkeley’s Institute for Government Studies.


Even among registered Democrats, anywhere from a quarter to a third of those sampled in those districts said they opposed her regaining the gavel, and at least some Democratic candidates are responding.


“I will see who is holding their hand up to be speaker of the House,” Harley Rouda, who is running against Rep. Dana Rohrabacher along the Orange County coast, recently said on MSNBC. “I will do appropriate due diligence and make a decision then.”


Still, Pelosi remains a prodigious fundraiser and, in certain blue-shaded parts of the country, a welcome guest. Just this week she hit more than half a dozen cities in Massachusetts and Florida.


In the most recent campaign-finance reporting period, Pelosi raised $34 million for Democrats, boosting her total since entering the House leadership in 2002 as minority whip to more than $700 million.


She maintains a deeply loyal following among fellow lawmakers, many of whom credit her with keeping their party within hailing distance of the majority. (The party needs a gain of 23 seats in next month’s midterms to win back control of the House.)


“If you win the World Series, you open the Champagne and the manager doesn’t get fired,” said Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Northridge). “And it’s the same thing here.”


I have things to do. Books to write, places to go, grandchildren, first and foremost, to love.


The vote for Democratic leadership will take place after Thanksgiving, allowing time to pass after the Nov. 6 election. As yet, no serious rivals have emerged.

Democrats will vote for speaker twice. The first election is a secret ballot tabulated behind closed doors. The winner of that election will go to the full House floor as the Democratic nominee for speaker.


Pelosi expressed no doubt she had the votes to win. “I haven’t asked anyone for their support,” she said, later adding that doesn’t mean they haven’t told her she has their support.


Although Pelosi grew up in politics — as a girl she worked on her father’s campaigns for Congress and Baltimore mayor — she did not win election until she was 47 and had ushered her five children out of the household.


Pelosi said she never expected to serve more than 10 years. She recalled seeing an elderly House member hobbling on a cane early in her term, and telling a colleague, “It’s never going to be me. I’m not staying around that long.”


It’s now been more than 30 years since Pelosi’s election in 1987, though physical infirmity has never been an issue; she routinely works 12- to 18-hour days.


Pelosi would have stepped aside as leader, she said, had Hillary Clinton won the 2016 election.


But with no other woman at the table, Pelosi said, “it was the most urgent of all moments” to keep her seat alongside President Trump, GOP leaders and the top Democrat in the Senate, New York’s Charles E. Schumer.


“I feel a very strong responsibility to stay in this office for at least the next two years while he’s president,” Pelosi said over that double-espresso. “And let’s hope it doesn’t go any longer than that for him.”


Times staff writers Jennifer Haberkorn and David Lauter in Washington contributed to this report.




‘Kiss of Death’: Democrats keep Hillary off campaign trail

October 13, 2018

“Hillary Clinton is the kiss of death and she represents the part of the Democratic Party that led to historic losses and that elected Donald Trump president,” said a leading Democratic strategist who requested anonymity because of fear of political retribution.

Hillary Clinton was once the face of the Democratic Party, a celebrity name who could draw thousands to rallies and was the all-but-certain first female president of the United States. Now, she is viewed as “the kiss of death” for candidates.

Image result for hillary clinton, october 2018, photos

Hillary Clinton. Credit Getty Images

As the midterm election campaigns enter the home stretch, the former secretary of state, first lady, senator, and 2016 Democratic nominee is almost completely absent from the campaign trail. Most Democrats are keen to keep it that way, fearing that her reappearance could cost them a golden opportunity of winning back control of Congress.

Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, are due to go back on the road next month, embarking on a 13-city tour in which they will conduct “one-of-a-kind conversations” about “the most impactful moments in modern history”. But Democratic strategists are relieved that their first event will be 12 days after Americans go to the polls on Nov 6.

“I think they’re measuring how they can have the best, positive impact and have kind of decided to wait until after the election,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

One House Democrat said the Clintons were not missed. “I have not seen Hillary or Bill at all — and I’m very grateful for that,” he said. “When I think of people who have been part of our push to retake the House, I just don’t think of them at all. … I think it’s a very good thing that they’re not being visible. It wouldn’t help our candidates.”

With under four weeks until Election Day, Hillary Clinton’s footprint on the 2018 scene has been remarkably light, with her involvement focused on fundraising behind closed doors rather than being seen by voters. She is slated to headline a pair of fundraisers in New York for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Monday, alongside House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Additionally, Hillary Clinton is set to headline a fundraiser for Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Monday evening.

“Hillary Clinton is the kiss of death and she represents the part of the Democratic Party that led to historic losses and that elected Donald Trump president,” said a leading Democratic strategist who requested anonymity because of fear of political retribution.

Hillary Clinton headlined her first public event last week for J.B. Pritzker, the Democratic nominee for governor of Illinois: a roundtable on leadership. She is planning to appear alongside Andrew Gillum, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Florida, in late October.

This is a far cry from other top-tier Democratic surrogates like Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who announced plans to campaign in nine states ahead of Election Day for various congressional, gubernatorial, and state legislature candidates. Former President Barack Obama has also ramped up his public appearances ahead of Election Day. Thus far, he has campaigned for candidates in California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. The same cannot be said of Hillary Clinton, who many Democrats are eager to avoid.

Both Menendez and Pritzker carry considerable baggage. Menendez was once under federal indictment for corruption before the case was dropped earlier this year, while Pritzker was investigated for removing toilets from one of his luxury homes along Chicago’s Gold Coast to avoid property taxes.

The Democratic strategist said: “It’s no surprise that one of the very few Democrats that would welcome her is someone who was formerly under federal indictment and the most scandal-plagued Democrat in the country.”

According to multiple Democratic senators up for re-election in states, ranging from ruby red to deep blue, and those involved in 2018 strategy, Hillary Clinton has not been called upon and isn’t expected to be. In many cases, she is an afterthought.

“No. I haven’t asked her,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., noting that Biden recently fundraised for her before explaining why Clinton hasn’t been involved. “It’s a good question. I probably should, but we’ve done events. We do five a week, and they’re small. I don’t think I’m doing a big, huge event.”

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., who is running in a state that voted for President Trump in 2016, said that he is “not aware” of anything Clinton is doing for her campaign. Additionally, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Clinton’s running mate during the 2016 campaign who is up for re-election, said he wasn’t sure why she was maintaining a low profile heading into the election.

“I don’t really know,” he said of her pre-election day involvement, adding that he isn’t sure if she’ll do anything on his behalf ahead of Nov. 6. “Not yet. We don’t have a plan yet, but I’m so close to her people in Virginia.”

Clinton’s popularity sits at a record low, according to a Gallup poll taken in September. Only 36 percent view her favorably, including 30 percent of independents and 77 percent of Democrats.

She is a particularly divisive figure in GOP “red” states, especially those that Trump won overwhelmingly two years ago and where Democratic senators are up for re-election in November. In North Dakota, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., has criticized her on multiple occasions, most recently for comments this week that Democrats cannot be civil with Republicans, calling them “ridiculous.”

“I think it’s pretty wise for her not to show up,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., adding that her impact in a red state is not helpful.

“It would be pretty harmful.” Durbin said with a laugh: “They’re red [states] because she didn’t carry them.”

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., chairman of the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm, said that it remains up to each campaign if they want Clinton or anyone else to be involved in their races, but noted that he did not believe she was doing anything for anyone except Menendez.

“Those are decisions that are left to every campaign,” Van Hollen said. “We welcome the participation of anybody who wants to help, but we leave it to the campaigns to work with them.”

Hillary Clinton also isn’t expected to do any work on behalf of Democratic candidates running for GOP-held seats as campaigns for both Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., have not, and do not, plan to reach out for Hillary Clinton’s help.

“Democrats don’t want her to campaign for them because everywhere she goes she carries this stench of death and is the only political figure in America that is less popular than Donald Trump,” said the Democratic strategist. “That’s a real testament to her.

“People don’t want her or her husband around anymore. She represents the past of the Democratic Party. If Democrats are going to win back the House, and a lot of them are next generation, younger Democrats, they don’t want to be associated with the Clintons and all of their baggage.

“I don’t know that it’s necessarily about her. I’m sure if people wanted her to, she’d campaign, but she’s a liability. Every time that she goes out and speaks, it’s a bad thing for the Democratic Party. … She had the most catastrophic presidential campaign in history. If we’re trying to say, ‘We want to turn the page, we want to usher in a new era of Democratic politics,’ she is the worst possible spokesperson, face, or endorser for any campaign that’s trying to do that.”

While Hillary Clinton’s top attribute remains fundraising, which she will be doing all day Monday, some sources involved in Senate races argued that she isn’t especially missed in that sphere either. They pointed to the large amounts of fundraising candidates have done with small-dollar donors and the $20 million Michael Bloomberg announced he is donating to the Senate Majority PAC.

A spokesman for Hillary Clinton did not respond to a request for comment.

See also:

Hillary Clinton’s security clearance withdrawn at her request

Pelosi’s Kavanaugh Email: ‘Never Forget and Never Forgive’

October 8, 2018

Nancy Pelosi
AP Photo/Eric Risberg

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) advised her email list recipients to “never forget and never forgive” while soliciting donations in a Sunday email following the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

The email’s donation hyperlinks connect to ActBlue, a 501(c)4 nonprofit facilitating fundraising for Democrats and the broader left, and the donation page promises donors that their money will be used to “support President Obama’s legacy.”

Pelosi’s fundraising solicitation email claims that 99 percent of the DCCC’s donations come from “grassroots supporters.”

The email states:

I’ve never been as angry as I am right now.

Republicans’ shameful choice to confirm Brett Kavanaugh makes me sick.

Mark my words: I will NOT let Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump claim this victory.

I need 10,000 of you with me before midnight to send McConnell and Trump a terrifying message they can’t ignore:

Brett Kavanaugh WILL go down in history as the worst vote Republicans ever took—and the vote that cost them control of Congress.

Suggested Support: $1 to defeat every pro-Kavanaugh Republican

We have to show Republicans that we will never forget and never forgive.

Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump MUST be stripped of their power.

Please pitch in $1 right away:

Chip in $1 immediately >>

Chip in $35 immediately >>

Chip in $50 immediately >>

Chip in $100 immediately >>

Chip in $250 immediately >>

Or donate another amount >>

Thank you,


Paid for by the DCCC | 430 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003 | (202) 863-1500 | | Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

We believe that emails are a crucial way for our campaign to stay in touch with supporters. However, if you’d just like to receive fewer emails, you can click here.

We’re working hard to make sure Republicans are held accountable for their actions and that President Obama’s legacy is protected. We need all hands on deck if we’re going to keep Trump and his Republican Congress in check. Our success relies on grassroots supporters like you. 99% of our contributions come from grassroots donations, with an average gift of $26. If you’d like to unsubscribe from DCCC emails, click here. If you’d like to make an online donation, click here. Thanks for your support of Democrats!

Contributions or gifts to the DCCC are not tax deductible.


ActBlue currently boasts of having raised over $2.8 billion since 2004. According to Open Secrets, ActBlue raised over $829 million in 2018.

ActBlue is the largest tax-exempt organization engaged in political activities. It is over 20 times larger than the second-largest such organization in terms of total receipts in 2018. It has spent over 169 time more than the second-largest such organization thus far into 2018.

Open Secrets describes such organizations—registered as “527 groups” with the IRS—as follows:

527 groups are tax-exempt organizations that engage in political activities, often through unlimited soft money contributions. Most 527s on this list are advocacy groups trying to influence federal elections through voter mobilization efforts and so-called issue ads that tout or criticize a candidate’s record. 527s must report their contributors and expenditures to the IRS, unless they already file identical information at the state or local level. The figures below are taken from 527 group filings with the IRS.

Pelosi accused Republican senators of having “done violence” to the Supreme Court’s reputation in a Saturday-published tweet:

Nancy Pelosi


Today is a profoundly heart-breaking day. The @SenateGOP Majority has done violence to the reputation of both the Senate Judiciary Committee & Supreme Court. I will file a FOIA request so that the public can see the FBI report & underlying documents.

Pelosi also waxed biblical via Twitter on Saturday, invoking the Genesis story of Adam and Eve:

Nancy Pelosi


Is it still All About Eve? Trump blames Dr. Ford. Grassley blames Dianne Feinstein & says Republican women can’t handle the Judiciary committee workload. Really? It’s 2018. A new day is dawning. Women marched, women are running, women will win.

With the midterm election looming, calls to impeach Kavanaugh pose awkward challenge for Democrats

October 8, 2018

Even before the judicial oath was administered and Judge Brett Kavanaugh became Justice Kavanaugh, some on the political left were sounding calls to impeach. A month before midterm elections, that makes many mainstream Democrats nervous.

As both parties move on from the most bruising Supreme Court confirmation battle in a generation, Democrats hope to harness voter anger over the explosive proceedings and the narrow outcome, but not turn the midterm contest into a polarizing referendum on whether the party should try to remove Kavanaugh — an effort that would have little likelihood of succeeding.

By Laura King
Los Angeles Times

With the midterm election looming, calls to impeach Kavanaugh pose awkward challenge for Democrats
Retired Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, right, administers the judicial oath to Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the Justices’ Conference Room of the Supreme Court Building, with Kavanaugh’s wife and daughters looking on. (Fred Schilling / AP)
Republicans and Democrats have put competing spins on how the confirmation fallout might play out at the polls. The GOP says the battle over Kavanaugh has energized its voters, who have lagged behind Democrats in previous measures of enthusiasm over the election.
“I think the Republicans are going to do great in the midterms,” President Trump told reporters on Air Force One en route to a rally in Topeka, Kan., Saturday evening. “I think we have a momentum that hasn’t been seen in years.”
Democrats say the debate over Kavanaugh has amped up the anger that many women already felt toward Trump and the Republicans, and will lead to higher turnout on their side.
Both could be right, at least in part. The Kavanaugh fight could produce opposite results in the contests to control the Senate and the House.
 Greater Republican enthusiasm to vote could help GOP candidates in this year’s highly contested Senate races. Most of those are taking place in conservative states that have Democratic senators, such as Indiana, Missouri, Montana and North Dakota.
At the same time, increased turnout among women could help Democrats trying to flip Republican-held House seats in suburban areas, including five long-standing Republican districts in Southern California that Democrats hope to win this year.
Democrats need to pick up 23 additional seats nationwide to take control of the House. Polls in many of most contested districts indicate that goal is reachable, but by no means assured.
A new round of Senate polls in four states released Sunday by CBS and YouGov indicated that most voters who said the Kavanaugh fight had increased their motivation to vote were partisans who already were highly likely to vote for their party’s choice.
But in the closest race of the four, in Arizona, the polling indicated that the Kavanaugh issue might help the Democratic candidate, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who held a very slight lead, 47%-44%, over Republican Rep. Martha McSally.
Among the small group of likely voters who said they might still change their minds about which candidate to back, three in 10 said Kavanaugh’s confirmation would make them more likely to consider voting for a Democrat, compared to one in 10 who said the confirmation would make them more likely to back a Republican, the poll found.
As both parties analyzed polling data, Trump and his senior aides dashed any expectation that they might strike a unifying stance in the wake of a battle that pitted Americans against one another as much as any political clash in recent memory.
“Congratulations to Justice Kavanaugh and President Trump!” senior White House aide Kellyanne Conway said Sunday, echoing the triumphal tone struck by the president and his supporters in the Senate in the wake of Kavanaugh’s 50-48 confirmation on Saturday.
Interviewed on ABC’s “This Week,” Conway expressed no qualms about the heated tenor of the confirmation process, including the president’s public taunting at a campaign-style rally of Christine Blasey Ford, the Northern California research psychologist who testified that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were high school students.
“All of us were very respectful to Dr. Ford,” said Conway. She said Ford’s allegations in no way “tainted” Kavanaugh’s tenure, which could last decades.
Dismayed as they were by the outcome, even some Democrats who led the charge against Kavanaugh shied away publicly from any talk of impeachment.
“I’m much more focused on the here and now,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), also interviewed Sunday on ABC. “Focus like a laser beam on the elections.”
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) called impeachment talk “premature.” Coons was a key Judiciary Committee figure in the confirmation hearings, helping persuade his Republican friend Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona to demand a reopening of Kavanaugh’s FBI background check.
Discussing impeachment prospects “at this point isn’t necessarily healing us and moving us forward,” said Coons, interviewed on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Even though Democrats do not want to appear overly confident about winning control of the House, some have already raised the issue of investigating Kavanaugh for untruthfulness if they gain the majority and key committee chairmanships come into their hands.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, who would likely take over the chairmanship from Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) if Democrats win control of the House, explicitly raised the issue even before Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
“If he is on the Supreme Court, and the Senate hasn’t investigated [Kavanaugh], then the House will have to,” Nadler told ABC a week ago. “We would have to investigate any credible allegations of perjury and other things that haven’t been properly looked into before.”
Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of Torrance has gone further, joining with fellow Judiciary Committee member Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.) in calling for a start to impeachment proceedings against Kavanaugh if an investigation shows he lied in his testimony.
In practical terms, impeachment of a high court justice is an extreme rarity.
Impeachment requires a majority vote in the House to present charges that would be heard by the Senate. Two-thirds of the Senate would be needed to convict — an extremely high threshold to overcome.
Proceedings against a sitting justice have only been brought once – against Samuel Chase in 1805. He was impeached by the House but acquitted in the Senate.
The Democratic leadership has already spent months working to dampen public talk about trying to impeach the president for fear of energizing Trump’s base and scaring off swing voters.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco could not contain a flash of exasperation about getting bogged down in similar debate over Kavanaugh at this juncture.
Trying to impeach the new justice “would not be my plan,” Pelosi said during an appearance Tuesday at the Atlantic Festival in Washington. “I have enough people on my back wanting us to impeach the president.”
Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, interviewed on CNN, said he believed the GOP would have done better to avoid turning the Supreme Court nomination into an overtly partisan battle.
“The court, it could be a short-term win” for Republicans, Kasich said.
“Let me tell you what I think a president should do. You’re going to nominate a Supreme Court justice, and you’re a Republican, you know you’re going to have a conservative,” he said. “But it would make sense to work with a Democrat who would say, ‘OK, I know it’s going to be conservative; all right, let me help you to pick somebody so that we don’t go through this.’”


President Trump held rally in Mississippi on Oct. 2, 2018

October 3, 2018

Trump predicts havoc if Democrats take over Congress

As the fate of his Supreme Court pick hangs in the balance, President Donald Trump barnstormed for a Republican Senate candidate in Tennessee, warning that Democrats will unleash havoc if they gain control of Congress and accusing them of trying to sink his nominee.

“A Democratic takeover of Congress will plunge our country into gridlock and chaos and take away all of the wealth that you’ve earned over the last 20 months,” Trump warned Monday night, claiming without evidence that the stock market would plummet, 401(k)s disappear, taxes rise beyond “your wildest imagination,” and crime go through the roof.

It was a dire picture painted by a president eager to convince his raucous supporters of what’s at stake in November as he headlined a high-dollar, closed-door fundraiser and appeared at a packed rally in Johnson City to boost U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn in her tight Senate race against the state’s Democratic ex-Gov Phil Bredesen for the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker.

Trump praised Blackburn as a “true fighter” for the state, telling the crowd, “She’s all about Tennessee values.”

“A vote for Marsha is really a vote for me,” he said.

The Latest: Trump heads to Philly to promote trade, economy

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn with President Trump, October 2, 2018. Credit Mark Humphrey, Associated Press.

Bredesen, like other Democratic candidates across Trump country, has painted himself as a pragmatist willing to work with the president on certain issues. The Tennessee campaign is among several closely watched races expected to determine control of the Senate, where Republicans are desperate to defend a narrow two-seat majority in the face of surging Democratic enthusiasm.

And the stakes couldn’t be clearer. The rally came as the FBI investigated sexual misconduct allegations against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh — a probe that was forced by a small group of undecided senators who could doom the nomination. Earlier Monday, Trump disputed reports that his White House tried to narrow the scope of the probe and limit which witnesses the FBI could interview, saying he wants them “to do a very comprehensive investigation, whatever that means.”

The Latest: Trump heads to Philly to promote trade, economy

But Trump was far less sympathetic in front of his enthusiastic rally crowd, accusing Democrats of trying to slow down the investigation and insisting that nothing will come of it.

“If we took 10 years, they’d want more time,” he complained, charging that Democratic senators are “willing to do anything or hurt anyone” to subvert his agenda, including taking down his nominee.

“They’re trying to destroy a very fine person, and we can’t let it happen,” Trump said.

Kavanaugh has staunchly denied allegations now leveled by multiple women, including one who testified that he pinned her against a bed, groped her, tried to take her clothes off and covered her mouth to silence her when they were in high school.

The rally was the first of a busy week of campaign travel for the president that will take him to states including Mississippi, Minnesota and Kansas.

Previewing his own re-election playbook, Trump criticized a number of rumored 2020 presidential opponents, including Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former Vice President Joe Biden.

“We call him 1 percent Biden,” said Trump, claiming that his political career was finished until former President Barack Obama “took him off the trash heap.”

Trump, who railed against the North American Free Trade Agreement during his 2016 campaign, also hailed the revamped trade agreement with Canada and Mexico unveiled late Sunday, drawing loud cheers from his crowd.

“It’s fair, it’s modern and it’s balanced,” Trump said. “America’s winning again.”

But Trump spent far more time railing against “radical Democrats,” who he said had been “in a blind rage” since his election win.

“They’ve gone crazy,” he said. “Trying to burn our future down.”

Blackburn’s contest, in a state that Trump won by 26 points, has drawn heavy interest from the White House, with repeat visits by both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Bredesen has tried to distance himself from the national Democratic Party, presenting himself as an independent thinker who will support Trump’s policies when they’re beneficial to the state.

The former two-term governor, who would be the first Democrat to win a Senate campaign in Tennessee since Al Gore in 1990 if he’s victorious, has run TV ads in which he says that he’s “not running against Donald Trump” and learned long ago to “separate the message from the messenger.” He held an event Monday night in Chattanooga that he’d hoped would be a debate with Blackburn, and he has been needling her for not agreeing to one there.

“Presidential visits are good for fundraising, but I’ve found that Tennesseans are independent thinkers who can make up their own minds,” Bredesen said in a statement after Trump’s visit.

Trump, as he has in other states, argued that Bredesen is not the centrist he says he is and will wind up voting with Democratic leaders including Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi if he gets to Washington.

Republicans hold a narrow 51-49 advantage in the Senate.

The Associated Press


How Republicans Could Still Win

September 14, 2018

A forthcoming poll suggests ways they can persuade voters in swing districts.


Primary election voters at a polling station inside Boston City Hall, Sept. 4.
Primary election voters at a polling station inside Boston City Hall, Sept. 4. PHOTO: CJ GUNTHER/EPA-EFE/REX/SHUTTERST/EPA/SHUTTERSTOCK

This was a week of gloomy midterm polls for the Republican Party, with a wave of results projecting a Democratic takeover of the House and maybe even the Senate. But not all polls are created equal. If Republicans bother to read just one, it should be a yet-unreleased survey that tells a more nuanced story.

The data come courtesy of the Club for Growth, a conservative outfit that plays to win. The club’s donors expect it to place smart bets in elections, which it can’t do if it relies on feel-good data. It uses WPAi, the data firm that in 2016 found Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson really did have a shot at re-election, then crafted the messages that got him the money and votes for victory.



WPAi just handed the club in-depth polling of the people who matter most this midterm—1,000 likely voters in 41 competitive House districts. The results are quietly making their way to Republican leaders, and the club agreed to give me an advance look. Bottom line: Many of these races are winnable—if Republicans have the courage of their convictions and get smarter in tailoring their messages to voters.

On the surface, the results mirror other recent polls. President Trump has a net-negative approval rating across these districts, with his unfavorable ratings notably high among women (57%), independents (58%) and suburban voters (52%). Those who answered prefer a Democratic Congress that will check Mr. Trump (48%) to electing Republicans who will pass his agenda more quickly (42%). The biggest alarm bell is the 12-point enthusiasm gap—with 72% of Democrats “very interested” in this election, compared with 60% of Republicans. In suburbia, the 12-point gap widens to 24.

Yet this thundercloud has silver linings. One is that Republicans still hold a 3-point lead on the generic ballot in these districts, meaning they have a real chance if they get their likely voters out. An even bigger opening: Approximately 25% of those polled remain “persuadable” to vote Republican—if they hear the right things.

The difficulty is that different voters want to hear different things. Republicans have been touting their tax cuts and the economy, and they should. But the club’s data make clear that uncommitted voters want more than past achievements, or a scary picture of Nancy Pelosi, or excuses for Mr. Trump. They want promises for the future. And yes, they remain wary that Democrats will reverse particular economic reforms.

Which is why the message that resonates most strongly by far with persuadable voters is a Republican promise that they will make permanent last year’s middle-class tax cuts. Rep. Kevin Brady, the Ways and Means Committee chairman, has introduced legislation to do just that—and it’s mind-boggling that Republicans haven’t already scheduled votes. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t have 60 Senate supporters, but Republican candidates could use Democratic “no” positions to huge effect in their races.

Likewise, Republicans have an opportunity in highlighting the left’s more doolally ideas. Uncommitted voters reacted strongly against Democrats’ calls to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and strongly in favor of GOP promises to defund “sanctuary” cities and states, which refuse to follow immigration law. These were top messages for those crucial suburban voters, who have watched in alarm as urban violence creeps into their neighborhoods. (Interestingly, the other top suburban message was repealing ObamaCare.)

As for the Republican base, the poll finds they are driven most by Democrats’ threats to the presidency, the economy and constitutional rights. They will be inspired by Republicans who promise to protect the Second Amendment. They are likewise stirred by promises to defend Mr. Trump from the partisan impeachment effort that would inevitably accompany Democratic House control. And they want to hear Republicans vow to guard against intrusive and specific Democratic job-killing proposals—a $15-an-hour minimum wage, regulations on autos and drinking straws, government health care, etc.

What muddies all this clear direction is Mr. Trump’s nationalization of the race—his insistence on making it a referendum on his presidency. Polling suggests the Trump rallies and election talk are a double-edged sword. They turn off voters in the suburbs, where Republicans are already behind in enthusiasm. But they drive votes in rural areas, which react most strongly to impeachment threats.

So the trick for Republicans is to target different microcosms of their districts, tailoring their messages via digital marketing, calls, mailings and events. Some issues, like taxes, resonate everywhere, but for the most part the emphasis and message needs to be entirely different depending on block-by-block geography.

That’s doable, though it breaks with the usual mentality that elections are one thing or another—a positive or a negative campaign, a referendum or a choice. Elections during the Trump presidency, like the presidency itself, will be messy. Republicans who are willing to embrace that mess still have a shot.

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Nancy Pelosi, Confident: ‘I Will Be the Speaker of the House’

September 12, 2018

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday that she is “confident” that Democrats will win the midterm elections on November 6 and that she will be elected Speaker of the House.

Pelosi told Amanpour — who praised her as a “trail blazer” and told her she had “achieved incredible things” — said that she might have stepped aside to make room for new leadership if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 election, because she wanted to protect Obamacare — a law about which she said she felt “very proprietary.”

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, night and closeup

However, she said, since “45” had won — she declined to refer to him as “president” throughout the interview — she would stay and run for speaker, partly to inspire other women:

PELOSI: … If Hillary Clinton had won and the Affordable Care Act was protected — I feel very proprietary about that — I was happy to go my way. We didn’t know who would come forward, but that’s up to the caucus, they give me the honor of serving and it’s up to them to choose who comes next. But to have no woman at the table, and to have the Affordable Care Act at risk, I said as long as he’s here, I am here. So — 45 — not to be disrespectful, but —

AMANPOUR: You mean President Trump, “45.”

PELOSI: Yeah. So, no, but I have always been opposed — I think there was one election for leadership that I was not opposed in. People like to get started on what they think comes next, and that’s up to the caucus to decide. But I feel very comfortable about the support that I have in the caucus and that I will be the speaker of the house.

AMANPOUR: You definitely are going to stand and you definitely think you are going to win?

PELOSI: I think it’s really important, though, for women to see as well, because you can’t run away from a fight. You are in the arena. So when some people come forward and say, well, we should have somebody new, okay, you are in the arena, when the Republicans have such a poverty of ideas that the only thing they can put in their ads [sic] is that I am a San Francisco liberal who supports LGBTQ rights, I can take the heat. I don’t like implying that that’s not a good thing, our San Francisco values. But I want women to know that this isn’t easy. Power is never given way and it always has to be fought for and this is, again, a constitutional office and I feel very confident about the support of my colleagues as well as the fact that we will win the election.

Pelosi added that while she did not want to talk about impeaching President Donald Trump, she also did not oppose the idea, if “the facts are there.”

Pelosi served as speaker from 2007-2011, the first woman to hold the post. She pushed Obamacare through Congress, infamously saying, “We have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what’s in it.” Her stance cost her party control of the U.S. House in the 2010 midterm elections.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Nancy Pelosi’s ‘TIME’ Cover Is Hugely Significant For The Democratic Leader

September 8, 2018

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

Despite serving in Congress for more than three decades, Nancy Pelosi’s new TIME Magazine cover marks the first issue that’s granted her that honor. Entitled “The Persistence of Nancy Pelosi,” the cover story encapsulates that very fact, as well explains why she’s so determined to stay on Capitol Hill.

“Nancy Pelosi stopped caring about what people think of her a long time ago, so she has no qualms about eating ice cream for breakfast with a stranger. Dark chocolate, two scoops, waffle cone,” Molly Ball’s TIME cover story begins.

The House minority leader and former speaker of the House has represented California in Congress since 1987. As Ball points out, Pelosi “knows what her critics say about her: that she’s too old, too ‘toxic,’ too polarizing; that after three decades in Congress and 15 years leading her party’s caucus, she has had her turn and needs to get out of the way.” Yet she told TIME she refuses to leave Congress without another woman serving in an equal or higher elected position.

Her TIME cover was a long time coming, as she’s previously commented that former House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have both graced the cover.

Read the rest:


Time Magazine: Nancy Pelosi Does Not Care What Anyone Thinks of Her

Nancy Pelosi is on the cover of Time magazine.

Time magazine has published a massive feature on Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the congresswoman who hopes to be restored as speaker of the House of Representatives if the Democrat Party takes back the House in November. 

The article, almost 6,000 words and complete with a glossy video, covers much of Pelosi’s private and professional life, starting as the young daughter of Baltimore’s mayor to a mother of five to the first woman elected speaker of the House.

The article also tackles the ongoing efforts by some in her own Party and others — including the New York Times — who believe a new Democrat-led House should also have new leadership.

Time has high praise for Pelosi in its piece: 

The 78-year-old former House Speaker knows what her critics say about her: that she’s too old, too “toxic,” too polarizing; that after three decades in Congress and 15 years leading her party’s caucus, she has had her turn and needs to get out of the way. But there’s a reason she sticks around. Had Hillary Clinton won the 2016 election, she says, “we’d have a woman at the head of the table.” When that didn’t happen, Pelosi realized that without her, there might not be a woman in the room at all.

Pelosi is one of the most consequential political figures of her generation. It was her creativity, stamina and willpower that drove the defining Democratic accomplishments of the past decade, from universal access to health coverage to saving the U.S. economy from collapse, from reforming Wall Street to allowing gay people to serve openly in the military. Her Republican successors’ ineptitude has thrown her skills into sharp relief. It’s not a stretch to say Pelosi is one of very few legislators in Washington who actually know what they’re doing.

But few people talk about her in those terms. Instead, Pelosi is regarded as a political liability. Republicans see her as their biggest asset, and hope to motivate their voters in the midterm elections by putting her image in television ads. Meanwhile, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars she has raised for her party, nearly 60 Democratic House candidates have returned the favor by calling for new leadership. 

Time considers it ironic that Pelosi faces criticism at a time when so many women are getting involved in politics because they oppose President Donald Trump.

“If Democrats regain congressional power in November, as most experts expect, it will be by riding a tidal wave of female rage,” the Time article said.

But, as the article argued, “None of this fazes Pelosi.”

In fact, the article summed up what it took thousands of words to surmise: “Nancy Pelosi Doesn’t Care What You Think of Her. And She Isn’t Going Anywhere.”

Article highlights: 

  • Pelosi called self-described Democrat socialist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, after she won New York’s 14th Congressional District primary. “Thank you for your courage to run,” Pelosi told her. “This is not for the faint of heart.”
  • “The crowning achievement of Pelosi’s career was health care reform. Democratic Presidents had been pursuing universal health care since the New Deal. Pelosi helped craft the House version of the Affordable Care Act,” Time reported.
  • A former Obama aide told Time that Obama’s relationship with Pelosi was his closest one on Capitol Hill. “More than anyone else in the United States Congress, House or Senate, Democrat or Republican,” said the Obama aide. “She always kept her word to him, and she always delivered.”
  • Time claimed that despite a Republican majority in the House and Senate and Trump in the White House, “Pelosi and her Senate counterpart, Chuck Schumer, have repeatedly outmaneuvered the President,” including preventing the complete repeal Obamacare.

The Time article is posted online but will be published in its September 17, 2018, print edition.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.

Democrats will need strong leadership if they take the House. Pelosi is a strong leader.

September 4, 2018

A few veteran Washington Democrats are having this recurring nightmare: First they capture control of the House of Representatives on Nov. 6. Then they celebrate. Then chaos ensues.

The odds are strongly in favor of a Democratic House triumph in the midterm elections. That’s why a dozen or so current members of the party are already angling for a leadership post in the next Congress. The current top Democrat, Nancy Pelosi of California, has been an effective leader but seems also to have become a political albatross as more and more Democrats, under pressure from Republicans and their own left wing, pledge to vote against her as House speaker.

QuicktakeSpeaker of the House

Leadership counts.

Photographer: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

If her support continues to wane, the consequences for Democrats could be serious. It’s hard to exaggerate the importance of leadership of a Democratic caucus filled with members who have never been in the majority or shown legislative prowess. The House is likely to be the only U.S. government body that the Democrats control, and will shape ferocious battles with President Donald Trump, maybe including impeachment, that will set the stage for the next presidential election.

By Albert R. Hunt

The qualities that make a good congressional leader are often misunderstood. Successful modern speakers, from Sam Rayburn in the 1940s and 1950s, to Tip O’Neill, Pelosi and John Boehner a generation later, all possess keen political instincts and the discipline and subtlety of judgment to harness them. Bomb-throwers like Newt Gingrich, who was speaker from 1995-1999, and policy specialists like the current Speaker Paul Ryan, have failed.

Other requisites for an effective speaker are the ability to count votes, which is harder than it looks; to craft an agenda that keeps cohesion and protects marginal incumbents; to be tough (the former Democratic House luminary and present Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel once told me that the only person who could intimidate him was Pelosi) and, in these times, to be an effective public voice.

One largely irrelevant factor is ideology; others can do the vision thing.

Pelosi meets all these requirements except one: excelling in the public role. So would the No. 2 Democrat, Rahm Emanuel of Maryland. But if the clamor is for a new, fresh face, it wouldn’t work to replace a 78-year-old woman with a 79-year-old man.

There may well be younger Democrats with the potential to rise to the challenge, but few, if any, have yet demonstrated the skills required.

The majority party in the House has almost unchecked power to control the legislative calendar. With Trump in the White House and the Senate in Republican hands, expectations for legislative accomplishments would be minimal. But frustrated liberals will demand actions that may not sit well with new Democrats from places like Kentucky or Texas, and with a slim majority they won’t be able to afford to lose anyone. Without smart and experienced leaders who can navigate that conflict, the Democrats are unlikely to stay in power for long.

The Trump administration offers so many targets for corruption investigations that there will be an insatiable appetite for an orgy of probes, and there need to be serious inquiries into demonstrated malfeasance. But the Democrats will make a mistake if they emulate the partisan witch hunts of Republicans like Devin Nunes, Trey Gowdy and Jim Jordan. A strong leadership would impose needed restraints.

If there’s a compelling case for impeachment, as seems likely, there are two models. In 1973, Democratic congressional leaders fended off a few left-wing members who demanded a rush to impeachment before the country was ready for it, paving the way for a bipartisan, historic effort that led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation a year later. In 1998 by contrast, the absence of such measured consideration facilitated a travesty against President Bill Clinton that left him in office and actually boosted his popularity.

If Democrats jettison Pelosi in favor a new leaders, they’ll need to consider African-Americans like Elijah Cummings of Maryland, Cedric Richmond of Louisiana and Karen Bass of California, who was once speaker of the California Assembly, and Latinos like Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Several women are seen as potential leaders, especially Cheri Bustos of Illinois and Katherine Clark of Massachusetts. Another name frequently cited is that of Adam Schiff, a nine-term California lawmaker who skillfully countered Republican demagoguery on the Intelligence Committee in the present Congress.

These are quality members, but none are tested, and 20 percent of the Democrats who vote for a leader will be freshmen with no experience.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Trump in Indiana: FBI must start doing its job right or ‘I’ll get involved’ — Lashes media (Again)

August 31, 2018

US President tells followers ‘people are angry’ at law enforcement’s conduct as he campaigns for ally in Indiana

US President Donald Trump speaks to a group of supporters at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind., Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

US President Donald Trump speaks to a group of supporters at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind., Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

US President Donald Trump on Thursday night threatened to intervene in the Justice Department, saying the leaders of the DOJ and FBI “have to start doing their job and doing it right” because “people are angry.”

If they don’t do their job, he said at an Indiana campaign rally, he “will get involved and I’ll get in there if I have to.”

His comments came after he told Bloomberg News in an interview that the Russia collusion investigation headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller was “illegal.”

The president cited unnamed “great scholars” who say that “there never should have been a special counsel,” according to the news agency.

Some legal experts have questioned the Justice Department’s naming of Mueller, a former FBI director, to handle the probe in the absence of a specific law governing special prosecutors. But Trump’s own Justice Department says it is legal.

Trump has a long-standing feud with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and has called on him to investigate former rival Hillary Clinton and others. Some of the issues he’s raised with the DOJ have either already been examined or are in the process of being investigated.

In this Dec. 15, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump sits with Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony in Quantico, Va.(AP/Evan Vucci)

Trump repeated an attack on social media companies, saying, “We as a country cannot tolerate political censorship, blacklisting and rigged search results. We will not let large organizations silence conservative voices.” This week, Trump accused Google and other US tech companies of rigging search results about him. Google pushed back sharply, saying Trump’s claim simply wasn’t so.

Casting the mid-terms as a referendum on his agenda, Trump urged Indiana Republicans to unseat Sen. Joe Donnelly, saying the vulnerable Democrat is “not going to vote for us on anything.”

Trump, who is kicking up his campaign travel as the midterm elections near, appeared in Evansville to boost support for wealthy Republican businessman Mike Braun, who is facing off against Donnelly in what is viewed as one of the nation’s most competitive Senate races.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Ford Center, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in Evansville, Ind. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Before a wildly enthusiastic crowd, Trump called  Braun a “special guy” and said he will “be a truly great senator.” Braun took the stage and pledged to be a “true ally” to Trump, “not somebody that says something when you’re in Indiana and does something differently when you’re in DC.”

In a state the president carried by roughly 19 percentage points in 2016, both candidates have sought to stress their connections to Trump. Braun has welcomed Trump’s backing, greeting him at the airport as he arrived in Indiana on Thursday. Before the rally, Trump attended a private roundtable and fundraising reception.

Trump ticked through a number of Donnelly votes, saying he opposed his tax bill and voted against repealing former president Barack Obama’s health care law.

Donnelly’s campaign pushed back on Trump’s critique, citing a study from Congressional Quarterly that shows he voted with Trump 62 percent of the time in 2017 and noting that the candidate had 22 proposals signed into law by Trump.

“He’s always willing to work with any president who has a good idea to help Hoosiers, but he’s never been, and never will be a rubber stamp for ideas from any administration that are wrong for Indiana,” said campaign manager Peter Hanscom.

Donnelly said in a statement after the rally: “We’re always happy to have President Trump in Indiana, but Hoosiers still want a senator who always puts them first before any politician or political party.”

The president returned to the campaign trail after a bruising stretch, including widespread condemnation for his muted response to the death of Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the revelation that key outside associates had been granted immunity as part of one of the investigations circling the White House and a plea deal from his former personal attorney and the conviction of his onetime campaign chairman.

US President Donald Trump arrives to speak to a campaign rally at Ford Center, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in Evansville, Ind. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump did not mention McCain amid a five day stretch of national mourning for the longtime Arizona lawmaker and decorated war veteran with whom the president had long feuded. Trump drew harsh criticism for staying quiet for two days before issuing a terse statement honoring McCain’s death.

Trump’s speech largely focused on his favored talking points. He pushed his agenda, arguing that Democrats in power would halt his efforts to cut taxes and roll back regulation and would block his long-promised border wall. To deafening applause he argued that “Republicans want strong borders” and said “Democrats want to abolish ICE,” the government agency tasked with enforcing the nation’s immigration laws.

Trump also promoted his record, again calling the economy the best in the “history of our country” and boasting about “putting tariffs on foreign producers who cheat our workers and cheat our companies.” The economy and jobs are nowhere close to historic bests based on several measures. And Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports would help many domestic steel and aluminum mills while likely increasing prices for the factories that rely on those metals.

Early in the rally, a volunteer member of Trump’s advance team blocked a photojournalist’s lens as he tried to take a photo of a protester inside the arena. Trump paced on stage during the moments it took for the protester to be led out.

Heading into the final months of campaigning, the Republican Party is defending its majorities in the House and Senate, facing retirements and an energized Democratic opposition. Democrats are increasingly bullish about their chances to capture the 23 seats they need to retake the House. But flipping the Senate remains a much tougher prospect, given that 10 incumbents are running in states Trump won.

Trump is aiming to spend more than 40 days on the campaign trail between the beginning of August and the Nov. 6 midterms. The officials said Trump wants to be on the road for Republicans more than Obama was for Democrats in 2010 — when his party suffered what Obama called a “shellacking” — and beyond what President George W. Bush did in 2002.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.