Nancy Pelosi has done what no other Democrat has seemed to be able to do. She has befuddled Donald Trump, gotten under his skin, and essentially made him impotent in her presence. Is she using Kryptonite?
For a number of reasons, Pelosi is not going to run for the Democratic nomination for President in 2020. Tops among them may be that she is too valuable where she is as Speaker of the House.
In three words, here is why the Democrats need a presidential nominee who can get under the skin of not only Donald Trump, but also Mitch McConnell and other Republican congressional leaders: Carter, Clinton, Obama. None of the last three Democratic presidents have been able to master Congress, even at times when there were Democratic majorities in both houses. There used to be this breed of Democrats called “Blue Dogs” who were a lot like Republicans. Between them and those who were also Republicans-in-name, there wasn’t been much budging that could be done by Democratic presidents. So, when it comes to legislation, Carter, Clinton and Obama were essentially not successful.
No matter how good each of these men were at talking about a progressive agenda, none had much success when it came to passing meaningful and sustainable legislation. If we want to see that in a Democratic president, we need to go back to Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s, and before him, Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1930s and 1940s.
Presently, there are twenty-three announced major Democratic candidates for president in 2020. There has been no lack of punditry handicapping the race. Generally, each Democratic voter is told that he or she has a binary choice to make. Does he/she want (a) a candidate who can defeat Donald Trump, or (b) a candidate who most closely aligns with one’s political philosophy.
But suppose that whoever is selected has the legislative power and finesse of a Carter, Clinton or Obama as opposed to an FDR or LBJ? Then the Democrats could win the 2020 election and once again have a Republican leader like Mitch McConnell say that he wants the new Democratic president to be a one-term president and he would do everything in his power to make that happen.
Considering that possibility, it becomes more and more imperative that Democrats nominate a man or woman who comes closest to Nancy Pelosi in neutralizing Republicans like Trump or McConnell. Democrats need a candidate who carries an ounce of kryptonite wherever he/she goes and sprinkles it in the vicinity of any Republican who is unreasonably obstinate and counterproductive.
It will not be that simple, but the Democrats need a president who can irritate the hell out of Republican leaders, just the way that Pelosi does to Trump. Such a candidate will likely have the best chance of unrattling Trump during the campaign and perhaps showing to his supporters that the emperor is missing some of his clothes. In a conventional sense, Hillary Clinton was an outstanding debater in 2016, but she never rattled Trump the way Pelosi has. The Dems have to nominate someone who can do that and more.
If that feisty candidate would win, then he or she would have important leverage in dealing with Republicans in Congress. To progressive America, other than Trump, there are few fools as nasty as Mitch McConnell. The new president will have to shine a light on McConnell that lets others see what a literal and figurative dirty old man he is. He is like Dr. No out of a James Bond thriller.
So, the question remains, who among the current twenty-three may have the special skill to throw Trump, McConnell and other Republicans off their game.
Just to get the conversation going, I’ll suggest someone who others might disagree with, even mock. Elizabeth Warren. In her mild and even meek way, she seems to be fearless. She is quick with comebacks. She can take a punch. She is not a bully, but a very good counterpuncher. In her own way, she’s about as close to middle America as any of the other candidates. She just may have the magic touch.
Just a thought; we have time.