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Secret Republican weapon for 2010 -- attack Pelosi

The House Republicans' campaign committee issued the first salvo last week, suggesting that Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal should approach House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and "put her in her place" on Afghan policy. Pelosi responded the next day, calling the statement a throwback to sexist rhetoric.

"I'm in my place. I'm speaker of the House, the first woman speaker of the House. And I'm in my place because the House of Representatives voted me there," she said. "That language is something I haven't even heard in decades."

But it's becoming clear that running against Pelosi -- describing her as an out-of-touch liberal representing a fringe San Francisco constituency -- is on the first page of the Republican playbook for the 2010 elections.

Republicans have used this playbook before, without success, running against Pelosi in 2006 and 2008. But this year, with Democrat Barack Obama in the White House and the midterm elections widely viewed as a referendum on his leadership, the GOP hopes Pelosi will prove a wedge issue among independent voters who swung a number of congressional districts from red to blue in last year's elections.

In August, the National Republican Congressional Committee rolled out an ad against a number of Blue Dog Democrats, including Illinois' Bill Foster.

The Republicans have been running the playbook all year. Back in April, when talk of omnibus spending was providing the heat of the moment, the NRCC launched this ad against Ohio Democrat Zack Space.

Will the ploy work this year?

Democrats are dismissive. "When Republicans have no ideas and no solutions, they resort to ineffective personal attacks,” said Jennifer Crider of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Republicans’ Karl Rove-style attacks didn’t work in 2006, didn’t work in 2008, and they won’t work in 2010.”

But Republicans are salivating over Pelosi's low ratings, Obama's slipping popularity and a stubborn recession, convinced the mid-term elections give the anti-Pelosi campaign new promise. “Nancy Pelosi is a very polarizing figure, and she is clearly much more well-known today then she was four years ago,” Republican consultant Carl Forti told “She can definitely be used to help indict or impeach Democratic candidates on the issue.”

-- Johanna Neuman

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Comments () | Archives (5)

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How about the Republicans don't run against Pelosi, but actually put up some truly conservative candidates instead of disappointing RINOs like Lindsey Graham and Olympia Snowe?

My campaign donations will not go to the Republican Party this year, because they are not good a choosing candidates. I will contribute directly to candidates that excite me - from any state or district.

It just seems to me the Republican Party is satisfied with being Liberal-Lite.

Excellent idea. This woman is a disgrace to women and California. This hypocrite wanted You Lie Joe Wilson to be reprimanded but stands by her man Charlie Rangel who cheats, defrauds and takes money from taxpayers as leader of the committee in charge of tax codes. Wow, just wow. And now she's pushing for a value added tax, popular in Europe, which would cost 15% in tax for goods in California. She seems to have taken her power to a whole new level like never seen before. She thinks she's a Queen and I believe this Queen needs to be de-throned.

Wow! That's real news! The GOP running against Pelosi.....except it isn't real news at all. I quote you, "Republicans have used this playbook before, without success, running against Pelosi in 2006 and 2008." The republicans are the party of no least no ideas that don't actually benefit their big business masters and their use of divisiveness to placate and deceive their rapidly shrinking hysterical base. Try writing something that is actually newsworthy.

Pelosi and the Democrats have been dismissing Republicans for the past two years. They been telling any and all who would listen that "Republicans don't have any solutions". Well, Madame Speaker, Republicans have had many ideas, only you, Harry Reid and Obama ARE NOT LISTENING to anything we might suggest. So our newest "idea" is to replace you and your Liberal Congress with people (Republicans/Conservatives) who will listen to the people that employ YOU...The American People!

Go ahead and dismiss the Tea Parties, the "angry mobs", etc., etc., because in 2010 although you might still be a Congresswoman, you won't be the Speaker of the House! Bank on it!

Rob Boysen
Levittown, PA and California Native (I left 10 years ago and have no intentions of coming back!)

Speaker Pelosi: CRE Loans will end the unemployment problem within 2 months....Glass mfg, electricians, truckers, STEEL, Aluminum, plumbers, office equipment, architects, construction workers, concrete industry--will all be working Los Angeles alone there are 140 entitled CRE jobs with 70 or more units.....Credibility will be restored and responsible Health Care Reform will be accepted with honesty and transparency. (The Banks are now unfettered to make Prudent Loans & there are thousands of pristine Projects out there Nancy.)


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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