Wednesday morning, basking in the shade of the red wall he helped build to hold back the vaunted “blue wave,” President Trump tweeted:
In all fairness, Nancy Pelosi deserves to be chosen Speaker of the House by the Democrats. If they give her a hard time, perhaps we will add some Republican votes. She has earned this great honor!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2018
Virtually everyone, including the president’s former press secretary, Sean Spicer, thought Trump was being sarcastic. Spicer himself, appearing on Fox News that same day, called it an “epic troll.”
For those who aren’t quite up on internet slang, “trolling” is defined as putting a “deliberately provocative message” up on the web “with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.”
An “epic troll” would represent the height of the art.
Now there is no doubt that this president can troll with the best of them.
But in this case, he was being serious. How do I know? First of all, because he said so at his actually epic 90-minute long press conference later that day.
This news was largely drowned out by the equally epic rant of CNN “journalist” Jim Acosta, which ended with an undignified scuffling over control of the microphone with a young White House intern.
But what the president said couldn’t have been clearer: “I think she deserves it. She’s fought long and hard, she’s a very capable person, and you have other people shooting at her trying to take over the speakership.”
Trump went on to reveal that in his conversation with Pelosi that morning, he had put this offer on the table: “I said, if it’s appropriate, I said if we can, if she has a problem I think I could very easily supply her the necessary votes.”
“That’s not said in any way other than I really believe she deserves that position,” the president added. “I also think that Nancy Pelosi and I can work together and get a lot of things done, along with Mitch [McConnell] and everybody else that we have to work with.”
Why would the president want pro-abortion, anti-wall, ultra-liberal San Fran Nan as speaker of the House? Because, as bad as she is, anyone who replaces her would be much, much worse.
Think about it. If you were President Trump, would you prefer to have somebody like Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) as speaker?. Schiff has already vowed to continue the “Russian collusion” farce at least until the next presidential election, if not until the end of time.
Or perhaps you would prefer other leading Democrats, such as Jerry Nadler, who will take over the chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee. Nadler just announced to everyone on the Acela Express that he plans to devote all of his time to presiding over impeachment hearings.
Add to this a bevy of younger, even more radically-minded members who are just as eager to make sure that one of their own will take the top spot. Some 60 members of Pelosi’s caucus have already publicly indicated that they would prefer someone else as speaker. At 78, the San Francisco Democrat was facing the political fight of her life. Now, thanks to President Trump’s timely intervention, she won’t have to.
Pelosi now can go to the progressives and say, in all truthfulness, that Trump has offered to help put together a bipartisan effort to give her the speakership. “If you desert me,” she might say, “he will herd enough Republicans across the aisle to more than make up the votes that you take away.”
This sobering thought will concentrate their minds—perhaps for the first time—and the planned rebellion will dissolve overnight. They will realize that abandoning their party would reduce their rump group of radicals to irrelevance. There will be a lot of subvocal grumbling on the part of those who fantasized about burning Washington to the ground in order to destroy Trump. But in the end, her fellow Democrats will unanimously re-elect her as speaker. Not a single Republican vote would be needed.
Pelosi in turn would owe Trump a great debt of gratitude. And whether you are a politician like Nancy Pelosi, or a businessman like Donald Trump, you know that all such debts will one day be called in.
As an added bonus for the president, Pelosi just happens to be one of the most despised politicians in America today. In fact, her approval rating is only about half of the president’s own. That means Trump would not only have considerable leverage in private negotiations, he also would have the perfect foil for the public policy clashes that inevitably occur. It’s a win-win—for him.
The man is a strategic genius.
If the angry mob that is the left-wing media ever stopped to think about Trump’s actions, instead of foaming at the mouth over some of his word choices, they would realize this.
I’m pretty sure that Nancy Pelosi does.
Photo credit: Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Images