Nancy Pelosi

Newt's Lesson for John Boehner: Be More Like Pelosi
November 22, 2010

What lessons should John Boehner take from the fall of Newt Gingrich? I think there are three leading explanations for why Newt was a failed Speaker. John Harwood today pushes what I think is the least helpful of these, what I think of as the Sonny Bono explanation: Newt had a terrible media image. It is of course correct that Newt Gingrich was highly unpopular, and to a fair extent that was because of mistakes within his control. But Nancy Pelosi has is highly unpopular, and her caucus has shown essentially no signs of jettisoning her.

Laffer Track
November 22, 2010

WASHINGTON—Ronald Reagan (bless his sense of humor) loved to say that the problem with his administration was that the right hand didn't know what the far right hand was doing.  Something of that sort is happening among conservatives on the supposed urgency of closing the federal budget deficit. On the near right is the preliminary proposal of the co-chairs of the president's deficit commission, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. It is a deeply conservative document that would make sharp reductions in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid while also cutting and flattening income tax rates.

Boehner Claims He'll Clean Up the House. But Don't Count On It.
November 19, 2010

“So let’s start and build a House that works for the people, because this is the people’s House.” —Greg Walden (R-Oregon) Even the most avid Congress watchers probably have a hard time recognizing Greg Walton (R-Ohio), the head of the House Republicans’ transition team. But most veteran observers of Congress would recognize his call to build a more open and bipartisan House. In preparing to take up their new gavels, Newt Gingrich, Nancy Pelosi, and now John Boehner each committed their majorities to transforming the operations of the House.

Citizen Cohn, the World Tour
November 18, 2010

A quick programming note: I'm out of the country for the next few days, so my blogging may be light to non-existent. But we've lined up a terrific cast of guest bloggers. They'll be writing on some familiar topics, like the budget and health care reform, plus some new ones, as well.  P.S. Predictably, I end up taking a fourteen-hour, no-internet flight on the same day we see a new health care proposal, a new framework for reducing budget deficits, a major controversy over the Congressional Budget Office, and the re-election of Nancy Pelosi as leader of the House Democrats.

We Should Have Dumped Pelosi
November 18, 2010

On Thursday, the House Democratic caucus selected Nancy Pelosi as the minority leader. A few hours earlier, Quinnipiac University released its latest survey, which sheds some interesting light on that decision. Included in the survey was a standard question that Quinnipiac has asked for several years: Is your opinion of Nancy Pelosi favorable, unfavorable, or haven’t you heard enough about her?

Bad Obama! Admit You Were Wrong!
November 10, 2010

One of the defining beliefs of sensible-center Washington establishment types is that elected officials need to make Tough Decisions, including unpopular decisions, rather than just try to skate through to the next election. However, a second set of beliefs held by this group is that, if you do lose an election, this proves that all your ideas were not just politically unwise but substantively wrong. Here, for instance, is Washington Post editorial writer Ruth Marcus: The day after his shellacking, the bruised president offered a sober, tripartite analysis of voters' message.

The Shaky Case For Conservative Democrats
November 10, 2010

Matt Bai devotes his New York Times column to rebutting the fairly silly claim that Democrats are better off without their most conservative members, which is fine. But he also endorses the odd view that retaining Nancy Pelosi is at odds with winning back the majority: If there was any sliver of hope for moderate Democrats on a catastrophic midterm election night, it was their assumption that now, at least, the party’s leaders would have to focus on recapturing the political center.

Republicans Are About to Control the House. Will They Reform It?
November 09, 2010

The big news about Congressional reform lately has been over on the Senate side, but I’ll remind everyone that Tom Mann and Norm Ornstein’s The Broken Branch, published just before the Democratic sweep of 2006, probably spent more time on the House. Will House reform return? I’ll begin with the punch line: since about 1975, the House of Representatives has been the one part of the US government in which party majorities rule. That’s not going to change in 2011-2012.

Inside The Democrats' Tax Cut Clusterf*ck
November 09, 2010

Jackie Calmes has a great reported piece explaining just how Democrats in Congress blew the easiest issue in the world, how to extend the Bush tax cuts: A year ago this month, political and economic advisers at the White House first held a series of meetings on what to do about the tax cuts in the coming year. There was no consensus; advisers would shift positions with time and circumstances. And a vicious circle took hold, according to interviews over past months with Democrats in the administration and Congress: Mr.

In Pelosi They Trust?
November 09, 2010

Last week, when Nancy Pelosi first announced that she wanted to keep leading the House Democratic caucus, I wasn’t sure what to think about it. Now it seems increasingly likely that Pelosi will get her wish. And I’m still not sure what to think about it. It’s not because I have mixed feelings about Pelosi’s tenure as Speaker. As I’ve written several times, I think she will go down as one of the most successful House leaders in modern history. The last two years, in particular, have witnessed the sort of legislative activity we haven’t seen since the 1960s.