She’s twisting the knife now. I figured 95 percent of the reason he threw in the towel this afternoon was because he thought doing so would at least get him back in front of the camera for his big speech next week. Bill Kristol predicted that yesterday, in fact:
Today: Bills fail in Senate.
Friday: McConnell tells Trump can get some border $$ but mostly not for wall. Pelosi tells Trump SOTU still possible if a deal.
Monday: Deal. House and Senate pass bill, Trump caves and signs.
Tuesday: Govt open, Trump gets to give SOTU.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) January 24, 2019
Watch as Pelosi’s asked about the SOTU at a presser following this afternoon’s shutdown announcement. No speech. At least, not yet.
SOTU on Tuesday? Pelosi doesn't seem to think so: pic.twitter.com/ERpaCFrPM0
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) January 25, 2019
She probably figures that as long as there’s no *final* agreement between the two sides on border security she can’t afford to risk giving him a free shot at her and her party for a full hour on national television. If they had agreed today to a long-term compromise maybe she would have chanced it on Tuesday, figuring that Trump would have kept the jabs at Dems to a minimum and focused instead on celebrating what they had agreed to. But they’re still negotiating, albeit with the government re-opened now for a few weeks. Why hand him an opportunity to gain leverage in that negotiation?
And it’s a power move too, of course. Her base will love that she’s still denying him camera time, especially after he engaged in some brinksmanship on that point too and then backed down. And Trump’s base will hate it — which is potentially useful to her. Righties are already (temporarily) mad at him for giving in and re-opening the government; Pelosi rubbing salt in the wound by extending the SOTU snub will make them that much madder and eager to goad him into shutting down the government again in three weeks. Maybe it’ll work. If he gets blasted loudly enough and for long enough by Coulterites he might have another change of heart and lunge for Shutdown 2.0 to show his resolve. If that happens it’ll only set him up for another painful cave a few weeks later, with moderates initially annoyed that we’re doing a shutdown again and populists ultimately annoyed that he gave up without winning on the wall. As far as Pelosi’s concerned, I assume, Trump can shut down the government for as long as he wants, as many times as he wants. In the end he, and by extension the GOP, is the one who suffers politically the most.
Maybe she’s willing to compromise on “barriers”? Steel slats here and there?
Reporter asks Pelosi: “Can you accept any sort of physical barrier in a border security plan?”
Pelosi refuses to answer the question. pic.twitter.com/cL3IBD1NmL
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) January 25, 2019