What we learned about Nancy Pelosi in the riveting Jan. 6 footage of her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee — including the fact that she’s willing to go to bat for big donors like Sheldon Adelson and Robert De Niro, and that she was willing to let Democrats in the House vote to impeach President Trump — came as a complete shock to a lot of people, including the Democrats running for reelection in purple districts.
Pelosi is one of the few members of Congress whose political career didn’t come into focus until after she became speaker. It was only after the Democrats won in 2018 that we learned that she’s a real political player. So we were surprised when her decision to run for reelection in California’s 50th District was all about saving her seat and putting the party’s efforts in jeopardy.
After Pelosi ran for reelection with only token resistance, it became apparent that the party was unwilling to support the woman in charge. With her help, Republicans scored big victory in the House on the tax cuts and spending bill. But it was also clear by the end of the fall that the effort to get Pelosi to run for reelection wasn’t just a stunt. She is a very ambitious Democrat, and she knows it.
Here’s why we found it so shocking that Pelosi would run for reelection after such a short stint in Democratic leadership.
We told her to drop out after she won her first election this season
When Pelosi was elected speaker, you could say that she ran to the left. She took a very hard left, with little debate. She was very aggressive about the culture war. There was less discussion of bipartisanship, which was what’s needed after decades of dysfunction that led to gridlock.
Pelosi took the speaker’s gavel to the left, and she held the party line. But her message wasn’t as much about the liberal ideas that she held so dear as it was about “taking back the House” for the party after a year of defeat.
There were some moderate Democrats who were upset with that approach, and so Pelosi offered them a chance to “play ball” with her. They were upset, but they wanted to negotiate. Pelosi said no, and that’s how the party got to the brink of another impeachment.
Pelosi had a lot