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Sun, Oct. 20

Funt: Nancy Pelosi remains the model Democrat

Nancy Pelosi, the only Democrat Donald Trump seems to truly fear, is a branch of reason in our thickly overgrown political forest. 

Even before Robert Mueller finished his report, it was House Speaker Pelosi who cautioned that impeachment was not the wisest course.

“Impeachment is so divisive to the country,” the California Democrat explained, “that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path.” She added, “He’s just not worth it.” 

Now, Pelosi has cut through the tempest over Joe Biden’s history of PDA — public displays of affection. Asked by Politico if the reported incidents should prevent the former vice president from seeking the presidency, Pelosi said, “I don’t think it’s disqualifying.”

Then she imparted the wisdom accumulated during 31 years as San Francisco’s voice in Congress. Biden, she said, “has to understand in the world that we’re in now that people’s space is important to them, and what’s important is how they receive it and not necessarily how you intended it.”

That pretty much covers that. Pelosi is not easily distracted by the stuff that keeps the internet trolls and cable-TV punditocracy going.

Willie Brown, the former mayor in Pelosi’s city, wrote — quite seriously, I believe — that Pelosi should run for president herself. As Brown tabulates it, Pelosi is already the best-known Democrat in the nation, has a proven legislative record, and has shown that she can unite the party’s disparate factions. 

Nancy Pelosi, Brown notes, is also an unqualified champion when it comes to raising money, for her own campaigns and for her party. 

Of course, Pelosi just turned 79. Although she remains a whirlwind on Capitol Hill, age is a legitimate concern. Brown’s advice: team with the youngest Democrat in the race, Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who is charming Democrats and has already raised more than $7 million for a presidential campaign, and make him vice president.

During the time Republicans controlled the House, Pelosi took a back seat and, along with Hillary Clinton, was a frequent target for conservatives. But after the 2018 election she was reborn as Speaker and re-energized as Trump’s greatest foe. 

She stood up to him on immigration, his wall, and the unnecessary government shutdown. Now, on Trump’s threat to close the border: “Let’s regard shutting down the border as a notion that can’t possibly rise to the level of an idea.”

While Trump branded her colleagues with names like “Pencil Neck Adam Schiff” and “Pocahontas Liz Warren,” he cowered over what to call Pelosi. He finally blurted: “Nancy, as I call her.”

It’s doubtful Speaker Pelosi would take Willie Brown’s advice and try for the White House. Fact is, she doesn’t even have the time for it. She is the Democrats’ most powerful force in Congress, demonstrating on issue after issue that she can see the forest for the trees. 

Peter Funt is a writer and speaker. His book, “Cautiously Optimistic,” is available at and

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