Most of the commentary springing from Nancy Pelosi’s interview on Larry King Live on Monday focused on her apparent backtracking on a vote for drilling in the OCS. However, the end of the interview should raise a few eyebrows, too. Even the famously gracious King couldn’t quite choke down Pelosi’s assertion that she’s a Washington outsider:
PELOSI: I’m never certain of anything. Today, I would be certain. I just think that it is the opportunity for our country to move away from Washington. You know, I’m the Speaker of the House. I’m an outsider in Washington, D.C. . Business as usual in Washington is not in the people’s interests. It there’s for the special interests.
KING: You would be the ultimate insider, wouldn’t you?
PELOSI: Well, I — you would think. But I…
KING: The speaker of the House isn’t an insider?
PELOSI: Well, they didn’t want me to be Speaker of the House.
KING: But you are.
PELOSI: I had to fight these special interests. And now to make the change, we have to have a Democratic president. And Barack Obama has done more than anyone in terms of passing the toughest ethical bill — ethics bill in Congress, to shed the bright light on transparency on the link between special interests and legislation in Washington.
Nancy Pelosi got elected to Congress in 1987. She’s been in Washington for over 20 years. She maneuvered her way into the Speaker’s chair despite others having seniority over her, such as Jack Murtha, Steny Hoyer, and several others. If Pelosi isn’t the “ultimate insider”, as King put it, then the term “insider” has no meaning at all.
Next, let’s take a look at Pelosi’s paranoia. I imagine a whole host of Republicans didn’t want Pelosi to become speaker — they’d rather it be John Boehner. Some Democrats probably supported other Democrats for the job, too, but that’s the nature of elections at any level. Who, exactly, are the “they” that conspire against Pelosi? Voters? Democrats? Little green men? Who?
The whole “outsider” cliché is a Democratic theme to help Barack Obama, whose only qualification for the Presidency is ironically the three years he’s spent in Washington. The “outsider” theme works for governors who come from a state filled to the brim with authentic Americans to show the Beltway crowd a thing or three about real issues, blah blah blah. It’s misleading for Obama to assume this mantle, but it’s absolutely pathetic to see Pelosi try claiming herself as an outsider to a place she runs.