Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Nancy Pelosi's two faced endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

In a recently published article in The Guardian, Nancy Pelosi  is quoted as saying that "Hillary Clinton should run for president. I am praying Hillary Clinton runs for president".

Perhaps Pelosi is suffering from short term memory loss but Hillary Clinton did run for the Democratic nomination for president back in 2008 and that wasn't exactly Pelosi's position at the time. In fact  there  were few who did more to  undermine Hillary Clinton's candidacy for the nomination in 2008 than Nancy Pelosi.

When Hillary Clinton used a campaign slogan emphasizing her qualifications and experience over Obama, ( which was a mistake --she should have  emphasized accomplishment not experience. In 11 years of elected office Obama had accomplished nothing other than to get elected  and Clinton had a lifetime of accomplishment) Pelosi repeatedly and publicly  countered Clinton's assertions with " Barrack Obama has the judgement and experience to be president from day one."

Pelosi was also instrumental along with DNC hierarchy of cheating Clinton out of the votes and delegates she earned in two huge landslide primary victories over Obama in Michigan and Florida and in the process disenfranchising 1,600,000 Democratic voters on the grounds that the heads of both state parties moved their primary dates without approval from the DNC.  This was all done of course to benefit Obama since not only did he lose both primaries by landslide margines ( and polls before the elections showed he would)  there was a strong faction inside the party hierarchy (and the press as well for that matter) that had taken up the cause of a Democrat becoming the first black president and that overshadowed everything. Even elections.  ( There is little doubt that had Colin Powell run in 2000, and there was talk he considered it, he would have won).

Nevertheless Pelosi told a crowd in Little Rock where she was attending a ceremony renaming an airport the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport that,  regarding a Hillary Clinton presidency,  " she'd be the best qualified person that we've seen. Think of the message that sends to the women of the world. The most powerful figure in the world is a woman and she also happens to be the most qualified for the job".

Pelosi sang a different tuned in 2008 when Clinton was clearly the most qualified person for the job then. Yet Pelosi did  everything in her power to undermine Clinton's candidacy for the  nomination. Including some dubious and underhanded tactics.

When the 2008 primaries ended, Obama had a 65 delegate lead and Clinton had won the popular vote. Neither had the two-thirds majority needed to win the nomination so, based on Democratic party rules and procedures,  the nomination would be decided at the convention.
With the possibility of the nomination being decided by super delegates, Pelosi publicly stated in June, two months before the convention,  that super delegates "were obligated to vote for the candidate who won the most delegates during the primaries".

Pelosi either knowingly lied or was ignorant of Democratic party rules and procedures since precisely the opposite was true as stated by the Democratic party rules governing super delegate votes in which is they are clearly instructed to vote only their conscience as to who they think is the most qualified.

 Pelosi's assertion was so preposterous that if true, there would be no need for super delegates to being with -- Democrats would just give the nomination to whomever won the most delegates during the primaries and forget the two-thirds majority. But Pelosi was trying to send a message to super delegates that it was expected of them to vote for Obama.

Pelosi  then began browbeating super delegates to state their intentions to vote for Obama  in June two months before the convention even though their declarations in June wouldn't have been binding ( at the time 400 super delegates, at Pelosi's urging came out declaring they would vote for Obama. But a Politico poll  in August, two days before the roll call vote indicated that more than 200 of them were going to abandon Obama sending the DNC into a tizzy and forcing them into another plan to avoid a super delegate vote).   Pelosi wanted to create a foregone conclusion that Obama would be the nominee without letting the process work its will. And to a great extent she succeeded.

There was also an attempt  by some in  the DNC that Pelosi knew about and supported,  to try to convince Clinton to withdraw before the convention so Obama could have the floor all to himself.  This was supposedly to avoid an old fashioned multi-ballot floor fight to give the illusion of party unity since the primaries had been the most divisive in the history of the Democratic party. But Clinton, at the urging of her delegates who didnt want her to withdraw, refused.

So when Pelosi talks now about how qualified Clinton is to be president and calls her " the best qualified person there is" it's a little late, especially given how different the last 5 years would have been with a Clinton presidency versus the constant selling out of the Democratic agenda by Obama and all the campaign promises on which he has reneged. It also reveals a political duplicity by Pelosi that makes her a politician that can't be trusted.

Pelosi's comments are also  a bit gratuitous and perhaps even self serving since according to a recent poll  65% of Democrats favor Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016 compared to 13% for Biden.

But  this isn't the first time Pelosi has reversed herself  and damaged both her credibility and integrity on issues of national  importance to Democrats and the country. 

During the healthcare debate ( a debate that never had to take place since Obama had the kind of majorities in congress that could have passed any healthcare legislation the day after he took office)  Pelosi said repeatedly that the public option was " the centerpiece of healthcare reform". But  when Obama decided to sell out the public option to the health insurance industry lobby and dropped it, she supported that even though House Democrats had already passed a health care bill with a public option. Pelosi at the time had to put down a palace revolt among  House Democrats when more than 100 said they'd refuse to vote for any healthcare bill that didn't contain a public option. But Pelosi who seemed to be more interested in not embarrassing Obama than in fulfilling the Democrats pledge,  convinced them to do otherwise. The result was a disaster for Democrats as they were wiped out in the House in the 2010 elections only two years after getting the biggest majority of any party in 60 years, the result of Democratic voters staying home in protest. And there could be another disaster on the horizon with Obamacare, a health care bill written by the health insurance lobby that was the substitute for the public option but more on that another time.

More recently Pelosi was  practically booed off the stage at a political event in San Francisco when she attacked whistleblower Edward Snowden as a traitor and tried to defended Obama and the NSA mass data collection on American citizens.

When the House voted on defunding the NSA secret domestic data collection, Pelosi was instrumental in defeating it  by whipping up 80 Democrats to vote against it (more than 100 Democrats along with many Republicans voted to defund the program and it failed by only 7 votes.)

But with both public opinion rising against it and statements by public figures from Obama to James Clapper conceding there needed to be a debate and probably changes to the program because of Snowden's revelations,  Pelosi wrote a letter to Obama  which she publicly released,  expressing her " deep concerns" about the NSA spying on Americans and saying changes needed to be made.

It still is a mystery how Democrats in the House, after Pelosi led them over a cliff in the 2010 elections still voted to retain her as leader -- this time as minority leader. Clinton too may welcome Pelosi's belated endorsement. Or at least give the appearance she does. In the name of party unity and all that. But if Pelosi wanted to be really honest about it, what she'd say is "better late then never". And then be quiet.


Anonymous said...

Truer words were never spoken.

Anonymous said...

Who cares? Pelosi lost her credibility a long time ago and is not relevant in any political discussion. So who cares? Next topic please.

Marc Rubin said...

"Who cares? Pelosi lost her credibility a long time ago and is not relevant in any political discussion.."

She was relevant enough to cause the vote to defund the NSA spying on American citizens to fail which lost by only 12 votes because she arm twisted 80 Democrats to vote against it to spare Obama embarrassment. What she needs is a primary challenge, not to be ignored.