“She running the country.”
The media’s enthusiasm for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has reached near-worshipful levels in recent days as she has faced off against the president.
At the same time, a new poll underlines the extent to which the Californian is despised by America as a whole. According to the Wall Street Journal/NBC Newspublic opinion survey released Sunday, 47 percent of the country disapproves of Pelosi’s job performance while 28 percent approves.
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That put her 19 percent underwater, making her the least-loved national politician. Although disapproval of President Donald Trump is higher, 54 percent, it’s just 11 points more than the support from his loyal base, which clocked in at 43 percent.
Pelosi also lost more support than Trump did during the federal government shutdown, the pollsters found.
To an amateur observer, Pelosi’s chronic unpopularity recently looked set to finally unseat her from atop the Democratic Party, a position she has held since 2003. Ahead of the November 2018 midterm elections, a number of candidates sought to distance themselves from her, with some even pledging to oppose her leadership if elected. She seemed toxic on both the left and right political poles.
After the elections, which saw Democrats gain 40 seats in the lower chamber, rumors of plots against Pelosi abounded. Sixteen Democrats signed a letter opposing her return as speaker.
However, democratic passions soon subsided. Pelosi’s allies ― on Capitol Hill, in the press, and on social media ― branded her enemies sexist “white guys,” effectively anathematizing them to liberal circles. She was re-anointed speaker weeks before the vote.
“No one gives you power. You have to take it from them.” Now elected Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful Democrat in Washington, is ready for battle: https://t.co/hr7a9TMiCG pic.twitter.com/hh7tG27UBc
— NYT Magazine (@NYTmag) January 3, 2019
In January, it was made official to a wave of triumphant press coverage about her political experience and skills. There was renewed talk of her historic status as the most powerful woman in politics, and at 78, the first and only female to ever hold her job. Number-crunchers explained away her unpopularity as a kind of political illusion.
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Then, came the shutdown, which gave Pelosi a chance to talk tough against Trump, the great liberal bogeyman. She let it be known that she had challenged the president’s manhood. There were more stories of her cunning, and tweets.
"So I'm assuming Nancy Pelosi will be giving the State of the Union now, since she's running the country," a former White House staffer texts.
— Jackie Alemany (@JaxAlemany) January 25, 2019
On Tuesday, with the shutdown over, or at least paused, Pelosi benevolently un-rescinded her invitation for Trump to give his State of the Union address from the floor of the House. He accepted.
It was almost enough to make the American people believe they love Pelosi.
And they would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling Americans and your stupid ideas.