Interview With Rochelle Schweizer On “The Disturbing Truth About Nancy Pelosi”
October 18, 2010
By Roger Aronoff
With midterm elections less than three weeks away, a blockbuster new book has come out on Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which to no one’s surprise is being ignored by the mainstream media. Recent polls have shown that the nation is not too happy with Speaker Pelosi, which could lead to dramatic changes in the new Congress that will convene in January. The most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows that Pelosi is viewed very positive or somewhat positive by only 22% of the respondents, while 50% view her negatively or very negatively.
According to another poll, published in The Hill newspaper, “Most voters think Congress’s ethics have gotten worse in the past two years,” in a poll taken in what are considered the key battleground districts.
“The finding suggests that people likely to have a big say in who controls the House in the next Congress believe that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has failed to keep her 2006 promise to ‘drain the swamp’ of congressional corruption.”
According to The Hill/ANGA 2010 Midterm Election Poll, “57 percent of likely voters in 12 competitive districts believe that the ethical situation on Capitol Hill has deteriorated since President Obama took office. Thirty-two percent of respondents say there has been no change, and only 7 percent claim it has improved.”
On top of that, some Democrats in Congress are running ads specifically distancing themselves from Speaker Pelosi.
The new book out on Speaker Pelosi is called She’s the Boss: The Disturbing Truth About Nancy Pelosi, written by Rochelle Schweizer. The book details the political life of Ms. Pelosi from San Francisco to the Speaker’s chair on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Schweizer has said that Nancy Pelosi is the most powerful woman in American politics today—at least until the November elections—and that she has successfully maneuvered her way up to the top by working with moderates in the Democratic Party.
Accuracy in Media recently interviewed Ms. Schweizer about her book. Schweizer is also the co-author of The Bushes: Portrait of a Dynasty and Riding with Reagan. Below are excerpts from the interview. You can listen to the interview or read the entire transcript here.
“What’s interesting about Speaker Pelosi is, most people aren’t aware that she’s actually a member of what you would call a political dynasty. The dynasty is not as well-known as, of course, the Bushes or the Roosevelts or the Kennedys, but her father was a former U.S. Congressman who had a seat at the powerful Appropriations table when he was in Washington, and then he went back to their hometown of Baltimore and there, Roger, he was there for twelve years—and if you research or look at his background, he ran his own well-oiled machine in Baltimore, and that’s really where I came up with the idea of “The Boss.” She was raised, really, under boss politics, and she’s gone on to really rule her House as The Boss.
“The key to Nancy Pelosi has been her access to resources. So I would say, in many ways, Paul Pelosi [her husband] has benefited her in many ways. We don’t hear much about him, or see much about him, but he is very wealthy. He owns a lot of real estate in the San Francisco area, and a lot of that real estate is near project areas that have been enhanced and developed through legislation that Nancy Pelosi has pushed.
“What’s so interesting about Speaker Pelosi, she is very good—and this is what political bosses are very good—at skirting the lines of what may be legal, and what’s illegal—she’s very effective at that, and that’s what political bosses are good at. They’re good at keeping people at arm’s length, they’re good at having loyalists around them who may not be completely clean themselves but they—somehow—always come out unscathed.
“Now, what she does understand very clearly is that her donors, the people that have funded her and helped her get to the level of power she’s reached, these are clearly strong Leftist people, so her message needs to be clear and firm to keep the money rolling in.
“Once Obama got in the White House and they started overextending, I think that’s where she got into trouble. I think, if anything, that what we’re going to see here is that this is more a referendum on the Left and their willingness to go for these huge power grabs with cap-and-trade, with health care, the stimulus—I think that’s when she really started getting into some trouble. I don’t know if they thought that they would see as much opposition as they did, or if it’s just the situation with the economy, but I think the American people are seeing now that they do not want such a big government role as Pelosi and Obama have envisioned in their vision of Utopia for our country.
“I think the media shores up for her, because they share the same agenda. They have the same liberal agenda she does. So they excuse the things she says, and a lot of what she does. I do think, though, she also does not receive any criticism well, and so that the media realizes they have to be very careful. I think she’s very guarded in what she says and what she shares. But, overall, I would say that the media has protected her very much.
“So far the book has basically been ignored by the liberal media. So far that’s been my experience. I’ve done a few more liberal talk shows, radio shows, but as far as the major media on the Left, no. It’s been basically ignored.
“Let’s look at John Dingell, longest-serving member of Congress. Back during the Whip race, he supported—this is in 2001—he supported Steny Hoyer, not Nancy Pelosi. Well, when John Dingell found himself in the primary race in Michigan after that, Nancy Pelosi dispatched a $10,000 check from her massive war chest to Dingell’s opponent. I write in the book, “That was the shot heard around the Democratic world.” Because loyalty is of a premium: You don’t cross her, and you are loyal at all times. If not, she will make sure that you are dealt with.
“I think conservatives, overall, should be encouraged. I think we’ve looked at the overreaching, possibly, of the Left on issues, and I think the elections will show the result of that, and that is that once the Republicans’—or conservatives’—message is heard, it’s a message that sells. And, again, the Left has to demonize, and change the subject, instead of really addressing the point. So people, I think, should be encouraged.”