Pelosi: I'm not partisan

Partisan, Nancy Pelosi wonders?  How can anyone think that the Speaker of the House is partisan? Pelosi scoffs at the notion that she acts in a partisan manner in an interview with Charlie Rose, picked up by The Hill:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is denying Republican claims that she is partisan, saying she has been open to GOP ideas.

In an interview with Charlie Rose on Friday, Pelosi was asked what is the most unfair and misleading impression of her. Pelosi initially said she doesn’t think about it, but when pressed, the Speaker took on her Republican critics.

“There seems to — some people think there seems to be a market for saying that I am very partisan, and that I don’t give the Republicans their opportunity. That simply is not true. They know in this recovery package that we had, we ask them what they wanted. They wanted certain things in there.”

Later in the same interview, though, Pelosi demonstrates her partisanship on the question of Iraq.  Rose asks her about the Obama plan on keeping troop levels around the 50,000 mark in Iraq, and she responds:

While acknowledging the Obama administration has used the 50,000 figure, Pelosi said she is “hoping it’s closer to 35 [thousand]. And what I have said is the good news is the war is ending. Troops are leaving Iraq.”

In an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow late last month – before Obama had officially announced the 50,000 figure — Pelosi said 15,000 or 20,000 troops would be a more prudent figure.

What changed in the last couple of weeks that created a need in Pelosi’s judgment for an additional 20,000 troops in Iraq?  Her party leader, Barack Obama, announced his own targets for troop levels.  When Republican George Bush was President, Pelosi had an even more limited view of the role of American troops in Iraq.  WRAL reports this from November 2007, after it became apparent that the surge strategy was working:

Pelosi said House Democrats hope to get a proposal to Bush before Thanksgiving to withdraw combat troops by the end of 2008. After that date, war funding would pay only for embassy protection, targeted counterterrorism efforts and limited training of Iraqi forces.

What changed?  The party holding the White House.  But oh, no, Pelosi is not partisan.

Maybe that’s just on war policy.  What about domestic policy?  Is Pelosi more amenable to bipartisan processes?  Not really:

Obama faced an early test last week, when, in the midst of the debate over economic stimulus, Democrats worked to shut Republicans out of the policy process, then behaved boorishly when Republicans complained.

Democratic leaders responded with the political equivalent of a sack dance in football. “If it’s passed with 63 votes or 73 votes, history won’t remember it,” said Senator Richard Durbin, Democrat of Illinois.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi added to the mood by saying, “Yes, we wrote the bill. Yes, we won the election.”

But don’t call her a partisan.