Yet Trump’s fold came at just the right time for Pelosi, who presides over a caucus filled with anxious centrists and freshmen desperate for any signs of progress that the stalemate — the longest shutdown in U.S. history — was ending. While a vast majority of her members supporter her strategy through and through, several dozen started feeling restless…
The ultimate test for Pelosi came after Trump’s surprising gesture last Saturday to offer Dreamers three years of non-deportation status in return for border-wall funding. While Democrats just one year ago shut the government down trying to protect those very undocumented immigrants, Pelosi pre-empted Trump’s nationwide address by panning the idea entirely even before he took the podium.
That move angered some of Pelosi’s more moderate rank-and file members. They fretted that her immediate rejection of a compromise — and refusal to counter Trump’s offer — would make them look obstinate to constituents who just needed to pay their mortgages.
Rep. Kurt Schrader, a centrist Blue Dog from Oregon, publicly expressed the private fears of several rank-and-file Democrats earlier this week — that his party lost the messaging war over the weekend by flatly turning Trump down.