- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 25, 2018

CNN aired a glowing profile Sunday of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a segment that came at a pivotal moment for the California Democrat in her bumpy fight to reclaim the mantle of House speaker.

“I have a broad base of support in the country financially, politically and otherwise, which is valuable to our caucus,” Mrs. Pelosi told CNN’s Dana Bash. “None of us are indispensable, but some of us are better at our jobs than others.”

Her pitch came as the House Democratic Caucus is scheduled to vote Wednesday on its nominees for leadership positions, with a final vote coming in January at the start of the 116th Congress.

Despite being the only announced House speaker candidate, Mrs. Pelosi faces opposition from a small but stubborn insurgency of Democrats who want to see new leaders.

At least 15 House Democrats have indicated they will vote against her, including nine members of the House Problem Solvers Caucus, who want her to implement rule changes aimed at breaking partisan gridlock in exchange for their support.

Their letter threatening to pull their votes came shortly after Mrs. Pelosi dodged a challenge from Rep. Marcia Fudge, Ohio Democrat, who said she will support the Californian’s bid for speaker instead of running herself.

Rep. Kathleen Rice, New York Democrat, pushed back against those arguing that Mrs. Pelosi’s victory is inevitable now that she is the only declared candidate.

“The whole concept of you can’t beat somebody with nobody is a Nancy Pelosi talking point,” she told reporters.

Mrs. Pelosi needs 218 out of 435 votes to win the House speaker’s gavel, but with a few races still uncalled, Democrats now hold 233 seats, meaning that 16 defectors could sink her nomination. The 218-vote threshold would lower by one for every member who votes “present.”

All Republicans are expected to oppose her, although President Trump has offered on Twitter to swing GOP votes her way if she needs them, presumably in exchange for her cooperation on his top issues.

Ms. Rice argued that if Mrs. Pelosi fails to reach 218 votes, others will jump into the contest.

“The first step is showing that she cannot get to 218,” said Ms. Rice, “and then I believe the challengers will emerge that can allow new members to say, ‘okay, here’s another possibility, now I get it.’”

Rep. Adam Schiff, California Democrat, said Sunday he was confident that Mrs. Pelosi, an experienced vote-whipper, would become House speaker, a position she held from 2007 to 2011.

“No one I think is better qualified than she is right now,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “There’s no one I want to see more in that role, and. I’m confident at the end of the day she has the votes to do it.”

The CNN profile, part of its “BadAss Women of Washington” series, showcased Mrs. Pelosi’s political background. Her father Thomas D’Alesandro Jr. was a congressman and mayor of Baltimore, and she ran for Congress from San Francisco after having five children.

“I take some, for want of a better term, bad-ass glee in just saying, ‘Women, you know how to get it done, know your power,’” said Mrs. Pelosi at the start of the profile.

Said Ms. Bash: “Nancy Pelosi certainly knows her power more than any woman I’ve ever covered in politics. And I’ve always wondered how, how did the first and only female House speaker in history become so effective that even her political opponents repeatedly told me other the years that they marveled over her leadership of her caucus.”

⦁ This article was based in part on wire-service reports.


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