I {Heart} Nancy Pelosi, Pt. LXXVI


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Dave Weigel, at Slate:

When Nancy Pelosi rolled, she rolled deep. The current minority leader of the Democrats in the House arrived at her announcement presser with most of the House’s incoming class of female members. There was Rep.-elect Tammy Duckworth wearing a star-spangled prosthetic leg. There were Kyrsten Sinema and Tulsi Gabbard, age 36 and 31, who’d be the House’s first openly bisexual member and its first Hindu member, respectively.* There was an old Pelosi ally, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, unable to find space on the stage because of the crowd. “It’s a good problem to have,” said the leader.

Pelosi’s wind-up was epic. For nearly 10 minutes, she praised her fellow female members and admitted that “we want more.”… Finally, after cable had cut away, she announced that she’d “made the decision that some of you might have some interest in.” She was running for leader again. Her team of women burst into cheers…

Pelosi started taking questions. The first one that broached the reality—that Pelosi, for the second time, would be leading a minority—came from Luke Russert of NBC News.

“Mrs. Pelosi,” said Russert, “some of your colleagues privately say that your decision to stay on prohibits the party from having younger leadership. It hurts the party in the long term. What’s your response?”

The women around Pelosi erupted—booing, hissing, one member snapping “discrimination!” Pelosi told Russert to ask the same question to Mitch McConnell. The women cheered.

“Excuse me!” interjected Russert, who was asking a question that was inevitably going to come up. “You, Mr. Hoyer, Mr. Clyburn, you’re all over 70. Does staying on prevent younger leadership from moving forward?”

“So you’re suggesting that everyone move aside?” asked Pelosi.

“No, I’m simply saying that to delay younger leadership from moving forward …”

“Let’s, for the moment, honor that as a legitimate question, even though it’s very offensive. You don’t realize that, I guess. The fact is that everything I have done in my, I guess, decade now of leadership, is to let younger and newer people come up. In my own personal experience, it was very important for me to elect young women. I came to Congress when my youngest, Alexandra, was in college. I knew that men who came here in their 30s had a jump on me.”…

“When you’re young, you don’t know what you don’t know,” said Rep.-elect Lois Frankel, who’d just won a seat in south Florida. “We saw all those billboards in 2010—fire Pelosi! But when you get to know her, she’s just the nicest, sweetest person you can imagine.”

Luke Russert, celebrity spokesmodel for the Lucky Sperm Club, speaking up for the Pisher Party. He isn’t fit to lick Pelosi’s sensible pumps, and that’s his only real skill set.

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84 replies
  1. 1
    Anoniminous says:

    Do I note a certain …. testiness …. among the BJ Ladies Blogger Club following Minority Speaker Pelosi’s press conference?

  2. 2
    Death Panel Truck says:

    From the grave of Tim Russert: “That’s my boy!”

  3. 3
    Maude says:

    His father dropped dead and that’s how Luke got his job.
    Is that what he means by stepping aside for new leadership?

  4. 4
    SteveinSC says:

    Luke Russert is one flaming asshole. It’s hard to pick someone more banal than Little Legacy Luke, except maybe Tom “Bwwokaw” or “Stretch” Gregory or maybe Howard Fineman among the NBC “first” string.

  5. 5
    eemom says:

    Insufferable little shit.

    Great smackdown, Madame Should Be Speaker.

  6. 6
    Robin G. says:

    I can’t decide whether Russert is more of an asshat, or a douchenozzle. This is genuinely distressing.

  7. 7
    nancydarling says:

    @Anoniminous: If being sick of bullshit like this from a whippersnapper like Russert is the definition of testiness, then yes, we are.

  8. 8
    MikeBoyScout says:

    i do loves me my Nancy SMASH.

  9. 9
    YoohooCthulhu says:

    @Anoniminous:

    Do I note a certain …. testiness …. among the BJ Ladies Blogger Club following Minority Speaker Pelosi’s press conference?

    It’s not just ladies. Nancy Pelosi is one of the most effective House Leaders of this era, and it’s kind of an absurd question to ask, especially prefaced with the “some say” weasel words. I think Pelosi would have been marginally more generous in her response if he had said “do you think” (because really, it’s his own question that he’s trying to put in others’ mouths).

  10. 10
    Anoniminous says:

    Recognize snark peeps

  11. 11
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    When Luke is old enough to buy liquor, he’s gonna get one helluva regretful drunk on.

  12. 12
    TooManyJens says:

    “Let’s, for the moment, honor that as a legitimate question, even though it’s very offensive. You don’t realize that, I guess.”

    Where do I learn to do this? Are there classes?

  13. 13
    MattR says:

    @YoohooCthulhu:

    It’s not just ladies. Nancy Pelosi is one of the most effective House Leaders of this era, and it’s kind of an absurd question to ask, especially prefaced with the “some say” weasel words. I think Pelosi would have been marginally more generous in her response if he had said “do you think” (because really, it’s his own question that he’s trying to put in others’ mouths).

    I agree with you about the “some say” aspect of the question and wish Pelosi had made a comment about that, but I don’t think it is an absurd question to ask. It is distinctly possible that the entire Democratic leadership of both the House and Senate will be retiring from those roles in the next 4-6 years and it would be nice to know there is a plan to have the next generation ready to step in.

  14. 14
    Felonius Monk says:

    Little Lukey should learn to keep his mouth shut. Better to have people just think you’re an ASSHOLE, than to open your mouth and prove it them.

  15. 15

    Gee, Anne, you’re always holding back.

  16. 16
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    Bravo, Ms. Pelosi! Keep up the very good work. I’m so pleased that we have strong, intelligent women in the Democratic party (as opposed to a bunch of Bachmann-style buffoons). I wonder if Russert has any idea how very lucky he is to have been born into power/position. “Some say, Luke, that you’re unqualified to do what you do and the only reason you are even here is because of your daddy. How do you respond?”

  17. 17
    scav says:

    @MattR: And voila, without even thinking to try, you found a non-asswholeish way to phrase the question. Funny, that, the whole importance of phrasing and tone in communication.

  18. 18
    Ted & Hellen says:

    You’re better than this, Anne.

    My comment from ABL’s equally misleading post below:

    Simpleton Luke is definitely a douche in general, and a living example of the horrors of necrophiliac nepotism, but…SHMANCY never did answer the larger question he raised: What IS the ancient Dem leadership, men AND women, doing to prepare the next generation; and is their holding onto power in their dotage really serving the party or the nation well?

    It’s just that he’s too stupid to phrase it that way, and Nancy Impeachment Is Off the Table Pelosi would rather not answer it so she went all in on OH MY GOD AGEISM/SEXISM HOW DARE YOU QUESTION ME I AM THE QUEEN.

    You’ll note Her Majesty never gave him an answer to his follow up. Becuase how dare he.

  19. 19
    aimai says:

    @MattR:

    What would a “plan” look like other than grooming younger men and women with lower level leadership roles? Who is supposed to “move up?” Moving up is done by getting enough votes and that is done by…drumroll…exhibiting leadership. The reason Nancy did so well is that she had decades as a fundraiser and she was able to fundraise and spread money around to help people get into their seats, and stay in their seats. Those people voted for her because they approved her vision. Steny wants the power but if he had the god damned power base he wouldn’t keep losing to her. The Speaker’s role is not a prize for layabouts. You’ve got to go out and show that you can fucking corral your caucus. Or else you end up with Boehner and Cantor, the bobsey twins of the house–one young and hungry and one old and drunk and neither of them able to organize a one car funeral.

    aimai

  20. 20
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @MattR:

    It is distinctly possible that the entire Democratic leadership of both the House and Senate will be retiring from those roles in the next 4-6 years and it would be nice to know there is a plan to have the next generation ready to step in.

    Grooming new Congressional leadership is traditionally done thru two channels, the organizing bodies of the party (c.f. Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the DNC) and within the legislature via staffing the leadership of the various committees and subcommittees. The latter is harder to do when you aren’t the majority leader of the chamber in question since you don’t get to pick the committee chairs, so this question is more on Reid’s plate than Pelosi’s at the present moment.

  21. 21
    YoohooCthulhu says:

    @MattR:

    the entire Democratic leadership of both the House and Senate will be retiring from those roles in the next 4-6 years and it would be nice to know there is a plan to have the next generation ready to step in.

    I agree that’s an important issue, but it’s also not the question Russert asked. Which is an important point, because it would have actually been a much *better* question that might have gained him more notoriety. The fact that he asked his question the way he did made it plain that it was actually rhetorical and he was trying to make a point that she was old.

    If you don’t pay attention to politics all the time, you might not’ve caught how deliberate Russert’s question was, and how it was designed to drive news stories on her age. (Did he draw the short straw in some press meeting beforehand? Because I feel like choosing the youngest member of the press corps by far to ask that question is painfully deliberate) Pelosi is an old hand and she recognized the question for what it was.

  22. 22
    Maude says:

    @aimai:
    I doubt Luke Russert knows how things work in the House.
    He hasn’t displayed any knowledge on any level and tends to ask stupid questions. Time to make him head of the news division

  23. 23
    DonkeyKong says:

    Does Nancy have to choke a bitch!

  24. 24
    Turgidson says:

    If the Democrats were going to shuffle their leadership ranks, I’d start with Hoyer. That guy has always been kind of useless. Nancy stays.

  25. 25
    MattF says:

    Hmm… it’s just possible that the game has changed. A bit. But enough to be visible. We shall see.

  26. 26
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Turgidson:

    Nancy stays.

    Because she was so amazing at slowing down the Bush agenda 2000 – 2008.

    When she chained herself to her desk on the house floor to prevent the Iraq War, that was so impressive…

  27. 27
    YoohooCthulhu says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    chained herself to her desk on the house floor to prevent the Iraq War,

    You do realize that, as an actual functioning legislative body (unlike the Senate) the House delegates essentially zero ability to block legislation whatsoever to the minority party, correct?

  28. 28
    Mudge says:

    The Alan Graysons and Tammy Duckworths will be groomed. In the Senate they lost their most capable future leader, Barack Obama.

    To me, the key question is whether the Democrats can find a young candidate in 2016. Hillary will be 69 and Biden older. One of Obama’s most positive attributes has been his youth and energy.

  29. 29
    AxelFoley says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Both of you sound upset.

  30. 30
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @YoohooCthulhu:

    You do realize that, as an actual functioning legislative body (unlike the Senate) the House delegates essentially zero ability to block legislation whatsoever to the minority party, correct?

    I know, right? I mean, no matter WHAT the issue or the office, the Democrats just CAN’T.

  31. 31
    AxelFoley says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Yeah, both of you mad.

  32. 32
    Gadsden Flag Burner says:

    @Mudge:
    Kirsten Gillibrand, anyone?

  33. 33
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Mudge:

    Herbert Hoover was the last person to follow a 2-term president from the same party without being the incumbent VP, so we’re going to have our work cut out for us come 2016 in picking a worthy Democratic successor to Obama.

  34. 34
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    @Mudge: I wonder about this, too. Joe will be 70 in two weeks; 73 is pretty old to run for president, isn’t it? McCain was 72, and his age was definitely discussed. I think maybe after a term or two, Elizabeth Warren might be an interesting choice. Hillary seems like the logical choice for ’16. I don’t think it’s accurate to say she’d be any more polarizing than Obama, but the far-right does detest her and Bill.

  35. 35
    Ann Rynd says:

    I just know that Luke and music major Chuck Todd high-fived and fist-bumped afterward in the NBC playroom.

  36. 36
    Donut says:

    God, she is so good at this. She put that little nepotism jism squirt squarely in his place, first, then she goes on for like two minutes, humoring the little shit, and then ends with, “so, the answer is NO.”

    Love her. One of the biggest tragedies, speaking just from the political process side, of the 2010 midterms was her losing the gavel. We need to put her back in the Speaker’s office in 2014.

  37. 37
    Gwangung says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    Ah, the same old knee jerk contrarianism.

    If you knew what you were talking about, you could really be flaying some strips off people.

  38. 38
    Donut says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Well, you really are not a very creative troll. It’s no fun when the bait is that stupid. Useless.

  39. 39
    Donut says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    WTF are you talking about? She gave a response to the question for almost two fucking minutes.

    You are really not very bright. Bad troll.

  40. 40
    LAC says:

    @Felonius Monk: in the case of Daddy’s boy, that ship has sailed a while ago.

  41. 41
    caroln de lurking says:

    Not a bug, but a feature, detesting Hillary and Bill

  42. 42
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Donut:

    A “response” is not the same thing as an “answer,” which is why you chose to use the word.

    Stupid, stupid troll.

  43. 43
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Hmpf. Until Bush 1 came along, the CW was that VPs never won because they hadn’t since van Buren unless they took over after a death in office. I’m beginning to think some of these rules hold due to small sample sizes.

    BTW-Coolidge Wasn’t technically a two term president.

  44. 44
    aimai says:

    No…how about no as an answer and a response? To echo Nancy’s famous rebuke of the Republicans when she said “never…how about never.” @Ted & Hellen:

    aimai

  45. 45
    LAC says:

    @Ted & Hellen: you two sharing a brain? Who dribbles and who flings poo on the wall?

  46. 46
    Rekster says:

    @Gadsden Flag Burner:

    Kirsten Gillibrand, anyone?

    I do love some Kirsten Gillibrand and have long thought she was going places. This year her hard work on behalf of female dems has been great.

    I see great things for her in the future and would support her in 2016 if the opportunity arises.

  47. 47
    Jamie says:

    Wait, why the fuck does Lucky Luke get to ask questions about who should be where in the grand order of things? People on the other team hate Pelosi because she is ferociously effective. That is how you get that position. Q-fuck-you-ED.

    I guess I’d ask him why that was his question, and not, “the sandwich or the meal?”

  48. 48
  49. 49
    pete says:

    Evidently the troll(s) did not listen to Pelosi explaining how dedicated she has always been to advancing young people, especially young women — which was the entire fking point of having all those women on stage with her! Sheesh.

  50. 50

    Meanwhile, Luke Russert is a sterling example of what happens when you take the cake out of the oven too soon.

  51. 51
    SFAW says:

    @Robin G.:

    I can’t decide whether Russert is more of an asshat, or a douchenozzle. This is genuinely distressing.

    What, are they mutually exclusive? Can’t he be both, in equal measure?

    It’s kinda like asking if Mittens is more of a lying prick, or an insufferable, entitled asshole. And the answer is ….

  52. 52
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @WereBear (itouch):

    Meanwhile, Luke Russert is a sterling example of what happens when you take the cake out of the oven too soon.

    .. and drop it, then serve it in a large bowl.

    Luke Russert, bowl of cake.

  53. 53
    SFAW says:

    @WereBear (itouch):

    Meanwhile, Luke Russert is a sterling example of what happens when you take the cake out of the oven too soon.

    You’d best apologize to cakes, everywhere, for comparing them to Lukey. What has cake ever done to you?

  54. 54
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SFAW:

    What has cake ever done to you?

    Come look at my scale to answer that.

    Stupid delicious cake being all delicious.

  55. 55
    blingee says:

    @Ann Rynd: The mental image of that is quite disturbing.

  56. 56
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Lil’Luke is the poster boy for tumbrel rides. Our “meritocracy” is every bit as much about actual “merit” as 17th Century France was.

    It would be prudent to insure that this snot does not breed. It was clearly a mistake to allow his father to.

  57. 57
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Simpleton Luke is definitely a douche in general, and a living example of the horrors of necrophiliac nepotism, but…SHMANCY never did answer the larger question he raised: What IS the ancient Dem leadership, men AND women, doing to prepare the next generation; and is their holding onto power in their dotage really serving the party or the nation well?

    You’re better than this, TO. Pelosi stood on the stage with a bunch of newly-elected thirty-year-olds, pointed out that Republican codgers like McConnell never get the ‘too old’ slur, and then added that women tend to come to politics after their children no longer need babysitting, which means they’re going to be older than ‘young guns’ (like Paul Ryan) who have professional-mommy spouses to handle that for them. Sexism and ageism interact, what a surprise! — and too often racism makes the trifecta, because people of color of either sex are less likely to be able to support a family on one income. The Obamas were smart & lucky enough to have Michelle’s mother live with them, even now, but you know as well as I do how many smart, ambitious women drop off the tenure track because somebody has to commit to the kids.

  58. 58
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    A request to the front pagers…find a way to permaban this sniveling little shit, Timmeh.

  59. 59
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Based on exactly WHAT, you drooling embecile?

    For the tenth time: JOHN GRIFFIN COLE, the man who owns and runs this blog, even though even he can’t stand to post much here anymore, is the one who authorizes my return and approves my nym EACH AND EVERY TIME DougJ stumbles to his fainting couch and bans me for the crime of non-botness.

    So take your outrage and shove it, dumbass.

  60. 60
    maya says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Are you still on the American Crossroads payroll or are you working pro Bono now? ( She lost too, ya know.)

  61. 61
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @maya:

    ummm…yeah, yes, whatever…that is, sure.

  62. 62
    Amanda says:

    Why why why must Charlie Pierce be on vaca this week? What he would do with this little piece of Luke Russert news would be a thing of beauty. Ah well, I imagine he will not be able to resist smacking Little Luke around once he returns. Counting the days :-)

  63. 63
  64. 64
    maya says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Cummon… I’m sure if you sent Lil Luke a SASE with a request for an autographed 8X10 glossy of his mug and told him how you’ve been battling for his honor and tone and stuff, he’d send you one. It should command quite a penny someday. In the meantime you could hang it over the toilet.
    I got an autographed photo of Lil Bush and Laura dancing at their first inaug and I hadn’t even asked for one. That’s where I put it. Right over the shitter. I almost hated to take it down in 2009. They looked so cute there.

  65. 65
    SFAW says:

    Hey, all youse guys [sic] leave T&A T&H alone! You’ve got to remember that they are just simple farmers … people of the land … the common clay of the new ‘Murica

  66. 66
    Erik says:

    I value Nancy Pelosi’s work, but I also see the value in there being some turnover in the leadership positions.

  67. 67
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Give him this: He’s actually talking about the contents of the post, not spamming with this week’s Big Repub Lie. And he asks a question that can be answered, he’s not just attempting to derail the whole thread by getting the tribalists to start chanting slogans. IMO, this makes TO a “useful irritant” rather than just another shitty Repub troll.

    Balloon Juice, as I see it, is a community garden. Cole considers himself the Douchewhisperer; me, I think of myself as the cranky old granny with a shotgun. Swiping the occasional ripe tomato can be overlooked, but those who sneak into my plot just to take a dump are lucky if it’s only rock salt that greets them.

    So — while TO can walk that wire — I’m not gonna ban him…. but if you consider him nothing but an attention whore looking to start fights, you have it in your power to irk the snot out of him by Not Feeding the Troll, yes?

  68. 68
    fuckwit says:

    Zero. Self. Awareness.

    A child of the 1%, not stepping aside to let the rest of the country have a shot at leadership, claiming that Pelosi is doing that.

    Classic Rethug projection. It’s not even funny at this point. It’s pathetic.

  69. 69
    SFAW says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    I think of myself as the cranky old granny with a shotgun.

    Martha Coakley has been meaning to ask you about that over-and-under of yours.

  70. 70
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Anne Laurie: Oh, “Ted and Hellen” is “Spatula.” I knew it was a familiar act…

  71. 71
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @maya:

    Wow. You are one sick puppy.

  72. 72
    maya says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Actually, Lil Bush and Laura helped to keep me regular. That’s what I be – A Regular American.

  73. 73
    SFAW says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    I see you’ve brought your “A” game.

  74. 74
    WarMunchkin says:

    @Mudge: Kirsten Gillibrand, my friend.

    ETA: Doh, was beaten to this by a lot.

  75. 75
    NonyNony says:

    @SFAW:

    I see you’ve brought your “A” game.

    It’s Spats. His “A” game barely qualifies as a Gentleman’s C.

  76. 76
    slightly_peeved says:

    Even better presented, it’s still a poor question, because it would be incredibly presumptuous for Nancy or any of the Democratic leadership to go around naming successors. That’s not for them to decide; it’s for the party (and for that matter, the American people) to vote on.

    Also, if Luke son-of-actual-journalist wanted to know that, he could just see which Democratic members of Congress are on which committees, which are introducing important legislation or have prime roles at the conventions; you know, the way every political party promotes those people who end up becoming leaders later on. I believe knowing about stuff like that is the definition of a political journalist’s job.

  77. 77
    redshirt says:

    If you ever have a chance and/or the stomach for it, ask a wingnut why they hate Nancy Pelosi. Most/All of them do – because they’re told to. But alas! Few have any actual reason other than “Democratic Woman”, though it is amusing to see them try and come up with specific examples.

  78. 78
    NonyNony says:

    @slightly_peeved:

    I believe knowing about stuff like that is the definition of a political journalist’s job.

    Ah. Your mistake is in thinking that Luke Russert is supposed to be a journalist. That’s your problem right there.

    I believe that Luke Russert’s job is ask Republicans softball questions and then nod sagely when they spout nonsense. He is also supposed to ask Democrats ridiculous questions and then look skeptical when they try to give him answers.

    Or at least that was his dad’s job for almost 20 years, so I figure that’s what he thinks his job is supposed to be anyway.

  79. 79
    NonyNony says:

    @redshirt:

    Few have any actual reason other than “Democratic Woman”

    “She’s the most liberal Democrat in Congress!”

    “She’s from San Francisco and has San Francisco values!”

    “She reminds me of my ex-wife.”

    (That last one is probably the most honest reason any wingnut has given me for why they hate Nancy Pelosi.)

  80. 80
    rikyrah says:

    Nancy Smash bitchslapped Luke but good.

    hee hee hee

  81. 81
    SFAW says:

    @NonyNony:

    Yes, ’twas my point, sort of.

  82. 82
    Citizen Alan says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Herbert Hoover was the last person to follow a 2-term president from the same party without being the incumbent VP, so we’re going to have our work cut out for us come 2016 in picking a worthy Democratic successor to Obama.

    1928 was an unusual election year. Coolidge declined to seek a second full term, but he openly hated his own VP Charles Dawes and didn’t like Hoover much better (“for six years that man has given me unsolicited advice—all of it bad”). That was back when party bosses basically still picked the nominees at the convention, and Coolidge’s influence kept Dawes from being considered.

    Should Biden decline to seek the Presidency (which you seem to assume and frankly I agree), I think we will see a spirited Democratic primary which can only be good for the party so long as intraparty discipline is otherwise maintained. My prediction is that the GOP will nominate an outright Teabagger in 2016, especially if they make gains in 2014. After the Romney debacle, I don’t see how any “party favorite” can get through the primary process.

  83. 83
    Citizen Alan says:

    @maya:

    ( She lost too, ya know.)

    Really?!? /rushes to check Mary Bono Mack’s wiki page/

    Hee! I didn’t realize the hateful grasping widow of Sonny “Copyrights Forever” Bono had lost! For that matter, I never even knew that the “Mack” referred to Connie Mack whom she apparently married sometime after Sonny’s death. And who also lost! Double Hee!

  84. 84
    Ellyn says:

    Well said. Despite all the rallies and demonstrations we have outside her office in the Federal Building, most of us trust Congresswoman Pelosi and, speaking for myself, hold her in great affection. She represents the old fashioned notion of service and she has served us well.
    Luke Russert wouldn’t have his job without nepotism. Someone much more talented would have it.

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