If you were House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and were asked on national television to forecast the results of the 2022 midterms, what would you do?
Option One: Go with experts like FiveThirtyEight, who estimate a 70 percent chance that Republicans take control of the House, knowing that this prediction might demoralize your base voters, causing some of them to stay home from the polls and turning a poor result for your side into a disastrous one.
Option Two: Make up something that will offer the true believers on your side (like the studio audience of program like “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”) some hope that getting out and voting could help you retain the speakership, even though you know such a statement will also cause any viewer with a lick of common sense to question your mental faculties.
Pelosi went with Option Two, and now, since I like to think I have a lick of common sense, I’m forced to wonder whether her thought process resembled something like I outlined above … or whether it existed at all.
Pelosi appeared on Colbert’s show Tuesday night — I know, I said “national television” and Colbert only barely qualifies as such — where the host remembered her 2018 prediction that Democrats would have a good night in that year’s midterms, and they did. Her bona fides thus established, he asked her for a prediction for 2022.
Here’s how a transcript of the interview posted to the House speaker’s website recorded what followed:
Speaker Pelosi: Okay, well thank you very much. I’m so glad you asked that question, because I believe that we will win the — hold the House, and we will hold the House —
By winning more seats. We won the forty seats, then we lost some when Trump was on the ballot. We lost some of the Trump districts, but we held enough seats to hold the House with him on the ballot. He’s not on the ballot now. Oh, did I say his name? I didn’t mean to.
Stephen Colbert: We’ll have the video tapes fumigated.
Speaker Pelosi: Perhaps you could bleep that out.
Stephen Colbert: It is a family show.
I’m sure it was hard to make herself understood, what with all the applause and laughter going on. Pelosi managed to muscle her way forward, however, and make the obligatory pejorative reference to former President Donald Trump. Hil-ah-rious.
“But what gives you the confidence to do that because all the prognosticators, certainly six months ago, they said it was going to be this crazy red wave,” Colbert followed up. “Now it looks likely that the Democrats will hold the Senate, but there is still a slight favor for the Republicans to take the House.”
Leaving aside the question of how likely it is the Democrats will hold the Senate, Pelosi launched into an explanation that explained practically nothing.
“When we won in 2020, and again, fewer seats, but still holding the House. We started right away to prepare for the next election. In terms of organization. Own the ground. When you mobilize, you must own the ground to take out the vote. You have to do that with inspiration and how we put together our messaging — and that’s the second ‘M.’ And the third is money. So we’re getting ready for the election. That was in December of 2020.”
So, apparently the speaker of the House believe Democrats are going to win in November because … they’ve been doing the same things that both Democrats and Republicans do every election.
That statement is so useless that if I were Pelosi, I’d fire the staffer responsible for posting it on my website.
She went on to say some of the things you’d expect — Jan. 6, Roe v. Wade, etc. — and then Colbert asked her why she believed something other than what most of the polls were saying.
She didn’t answer that either. Instead, she went into a rambling analogy that had something to do with whipping racehorses in Maryland. She never mentioned the word “poll” in her response, nor did her response have anything to do — even analogously — with polls, polling or pollsters.
You can watch the entire thing here. (I had to, because I’m paid to torture myself like that. I can’t think of a good reason why anyone else would want to.)
I suppose it’s possible that Pelosi actually believes Democrats will hold the House in November. I think she’s smarter than that, but not everyone does.
I think it’s more likely that she knows the truth, but when asked a question in a public forum that required her to give an uncomfortable answer, she did what career politicians almost always do.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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