Will Nancy Pelosi Be The Next Speaker of the House?
Will Nancy Pelosi Be The Next Speaker of the House?
While it wasn’t the “blue wave” that Democrats were hoping for, they did make some significant gains in the House, costing the GOP seats, good incumbents, and their majority. With Paul Ryan retiring, the GOP didn’t have a “Speaker” to be displaced. But will Nancy Pelosi get her old job back?
She certainly thinks so, and struck a strange pro-Democrat-but-not-Trump-bashing tone in her speech last night. (It’s interesting that she no longer feels the need to be in her own district on Election Day. Forget it, Jake, it’s San Francisco.)
Of course, it wouldn’t be Nancy Pelosi without those weird, tone-deaf moments while she talks.
“Let’s hear it more for pre-existing medical conditions!” pic.twitter.com/MRWQoo1nP8
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) November 7, 2018
Okay, the Botox clearly froze part of her brain there.
When one looks at the House races, it really does look like incumbent GOP representatives had much ado to hang on to their seats. Looking back at the House races we were watching, the GOP did manage to hold 3 of those seats (Crenshaw won in Texas, McMorris Rodgers hung on in Washington state, and Steil took over Speaker Ryan’s seat in Wisconsin), but lost Brat in Virginia (a huge loss) and right now, the numbers are not looking good for a GOP hold in WA-8.
The candidates being elected seem to think they have been given some kind of mandate to be a thorn in Donald Trump’s side. However, that wasn’t the tone that Nancy Pelosi went for last night, even though this happened almost immediately.
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) November 7, 2018
With new representatives who are going to swing extremely hard left (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez comes to mind), and while that may line up with Nancy Pelosi’s actual political leanings, she is enough of a politician to know that her party is still limited. Controlling the House can be an annoyance to President Trump (and the image of Pelosi sitting behind Trump for next January’s State of the Union address would be amusing if you don’t think about how her face is basically frozen in place), but the majority is slim and not as large as, say, Republicans got in 2010.
The GOP picked up 63 seats in 2010.
Sixty. Three. Seats.
Today is a bad day for House Republicans, no doubt about that, but it's nothing remotely approaching 2010. https://t.co/ZooClqROkw
— Jeff B. (@EsotericCD) November 7, 2018
But will San Fran Nan keep that top seat of power as Speaker? Well, Donald Trump seems to think she should.
In all fairness, Nancy Pelosi deserves to be chosen Speaker of the House by the Democrats. If they give her a hard time, perhaps we will add some Republican votes. She has earned this great honor!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2018
Is this trolling? Because you know there’s a knee-jerk reaction on the left to anything Trump tweets, which could work out hilariously if Trump supports Pelosi becoming Speaker once again. Or is it something more like this?
President Trump will wake up on Wednesday morning to a radically new political environment as he confronts the prospect of a two-year partisan war with a Democratic-run House armed with subpoena power and empowered to block his legislative agenda.
Combative by nature, happier in a fight, the president may now have to choose between escalating the pitched conflict that has torn Washington apart in recent years and attempting the sort of reach-across-the-aisle conciliation that has rarely marked his presidency so far.
How the president will recalibrate, if at all, may become clearer in the days and weeks to come as he reshuffles his staff and cabinet and decides whether to force a showdown with the departing Republican Congress over money for his long-promised wall along the southern border, funds he seems unlikely to win once the Democrats formally take the reins in the House in January.
Moreover, the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, which took a public pause during the fall campaign, may soon come to a climax, tempting the president to shut it down or fire Mr. Mueller as he has contemplated. Any such move would inflame the capital and potentially provoke House Democrats to use their new power to take action.
Mr. Trump, however, is a more flexible political figure than many, capable of shifting his position on a dime without worrying about looking consistent, and as a result, he could in theory decide to work with Democrats even at the risk of angering fellow Republicans. The same president who went from threatening nuclear war against North Korea’s leader to declaring that the two had fallen in love could conceivably reposition himself into a negotiator with Democrats.
Donald Trump needs a figurehead to posit himself against. With Nancy Pelosi – a recognizable name – as Speaker once more, she becomes the figurehead for the Democrats. Does that help Trump in the long run? Who knows?
I do predict that Nancy Pelosi will be Speaker again, but that she is going to have to go much harder left in order to placate her Democratic majority, and that may not fit into her long-term plans. Pelosi has tasted the height of power when she took that stupid oversized gavel to the Obamacare vote. At that moment, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the Presidency. This moment is not that moment. These next two years are going to be interesting, to say the least.
Featured image: Nancy Pelosi on Election Night (image via screenshot)