Pelosi's approval takes first hit

Discussion in 'Politics' started by red states rule, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    The voters are seeing what the Dems are up to, and they are starting to react

    BTW, it all the Republicans and Rush Limbaugh's fault - not San Fran Nan's



    Under near withering assault from Republicans, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has seen her approval rating suffer its first significant drop in her brief tenure wielding the gavel, according to a new independent poll.

    While she still remains more popular than President Bush, Pelosi's job approval rating dropped to 46 percent, according to an AP-Ipsos poll conducted in the middle of last week. Her disapproval rating climbed up to 44 percent, which is a sizeable shift from mid-January when the same poll had Pelosi's approval-disapproval rating at 51-35. That mid-January finding held steady in late February, when the Washington Post/ABC News poll showed Pelosi's job performance rated at 50-31 in favor of her.

    It's certainly noteworthy that the AP-Ipsos poll was conducted during the peak of attacks against the speaker for leading a congressional delegation to meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad. Those attacks included Vice President Dick Cheney's remarks on the Rush Limbaugh radio show and President Bush's comments during a Rose Garden press conference. And she remains more popular than Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) was when he became speaker, settling in at an unpopular 40-48 rating by late January 1995.

    But Pelosi's drop in popularity serves as an early warning for Democrats. In separate interviews last week, a pair of House Democratic leaders circled the wagons around their speaker and vowed a strong defense.

    "The Karl Rove machine has continued to try to demonize Nancy, and I think this latest effort will fall flat," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

    "I can say unequivocally that we aren't going to let George Bush define our speaker. That is something we will do," said Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the majority whip.

    But, with Pelosi's caucus spread across the country for the House's two-week Easter recess, the Democrats have not had a built-in system to defend her. Her defenders have largely been ex-diplomats such as Richard Holbrooke or former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on cable talk shows, as well as a few lawmakers appearing on the Sunday talk shows to discuss other topics. Pelosi and House Foreign Affairs Chairman Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), who was part of the delegation to the Middle East with the speaker, are holding a press conference today to defend the trip, but that's in San Francisco and not likely to generate much attention in Washington.

    With the Senate back in session, there still hasn't been a robust defense of the speaker. "I'm glad she went," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told Capitol Briefing after a press conference today on Iraq funding. He declined further comment on the trip, even though he said he'd just concluded a long conversation with Pelosi.

    As our friends at Talking Points Memo noted, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) called the Pelosi-led trip the "right thing", but even they conceded this occurred in a "little noticed interview" with a radio station.

    Van Hollen and Clyburn gave a road map to how Democrats would defend their speaker, first suggesting that the public wants a different approach on foreign policy. "The American people have run out of patience with the Bush administration when it comes to national security and Iraq," Van Hollen said. "She's on really strong middle ground."

    And Clyburn noted that at least three different sets of Republicans had also been to Syria, delivering similar messages to Assad as Pelosi did. "There's something disingenuous about all that," he said of the Bush-Cheney criticism of Pelosi.

    Brendan Daly, Pelosi's spokesman, said the speaker's team has been prepared for the attacks. "We know that she's going to be a target," he said. "You've got to fight back."

    The new AP-Ipsos poll showed a nine-point rise in public disapproval of Pelosi, from 35 percent to 44 percent. It will be interesting to see where her disapproval rating stands a few weeks from now, and whether this was a temporary spike based largely on the Syria story.

    Republicans have been trying for months to turn Pelosi into the Gingrich-style bogeywoman of the left, similar to the way they drove up the negative ratings for Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) when he became Senate majority leader in 2001. Daschle, hailing from a conservative state, lost his seat to Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) in 2004. Pelosi isn't under any of those types of pressures back home in San Francisco. Californians approve of her performance by a 48-27 margin. But the GOP would like nothing better than to turn her into a divisive figure.

    "People just aren't listening to them right now," Van Hollen said of her critics. "People have largely tuned them out."

    That's a prediction that will take a few months, and a few more independent polls testing Pelosi's popularity, to confirm.

    [http://www.ipsos-na.com/news/client/act_dsp_pdf.cfm?name=mr070409-2topline.pdf&id=3434]

    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/capitol-briefing/2007/02/peolosi_approval_strong_libera.html]

    [http://electioncentral.tpmcafe.com/...e_house_over_criticism_of_pelosis_syria_trip]


    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/capitol-briefing/2007/04/pelosis_approval_takes_first_h.html
     
  2. T-Bor
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    T-Bor Active Member

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  3. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    at least I have one

    Your was removed when had your hemroid treatment
     
  4. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    With San Fran Nan (the Self Appointed Sec of State) out in public, the Dems numbers will stay in the basement


    Assad's useful idiot
    TODAY'S EDITORIAL
    By Farid Ghadry
    April 13, 2007


    There was a tinge of Hanoi Jane quality to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's exuberance in declaring during her visit with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad that the "road to peace" in the region apparently went through Damascus. Seemingly enjoying the media frenzy that ensued from leading the highest-level delegation of U.S. officials to Syria since the nominal cessation of relations between Washington and the Ba'athist regime, Mrs. Pelosi wandered the historic streets of Damascus ever ignorant of the regime minders closely in tow; as her smiling profile was plastered throughout all the major state-controlled media outlets where Bashar Assad's "success" was heralded by both local media and international Arab satellite stations. Whether for self-interested political reasons, or simple criminal inattentiveness to the pernicious impact of her visit, Mrs. Pelosi met with Mr. Assad, despite strenuous objections from U.S. government corners and pleas from a Syrian opposition still reeling from the latest round of mass arrests.
    Mrs. Pelosi's misguided attempt at shuttle diplomacy did more than present a convenient contradiction in U.S. policy for Assad and Ba'athist propaganda to adroitly exploit; her presence further abetted efforts by the regime to demonstrate to a weary Syrian populace that Mr. Assad still maintained significant clout and leverage against the United States and the West. That is, for those Syrians hoping for a sign that the Western world was finally matching its rhetoric of pressuring and squeezing an increasingly belligerent Assad regime, Mrs. Pelosi's amateurish road show thoroughly dampened any confidence by the Syrian people that they could count on the West and the United States in particular, to stand in good-faith by their word.
    This devaluation of trust by the people in the region will have serious negative repercussions for U.S. interests down the line -- already rampant rumors exist in the country that Mr. Assad is secretly supported by the United States, despite appearances that would indicate otherwise. Mrs. Pelosi's visit merely served to reinforce such perceptions and deepen the despair in a magnitude akin to a hostage receiving word that no one was coming to their rescue.
    Admittedly, members of Mrs. Pelosi's congressional delegation, such as Rep. Tom Lantos, have a proven track record in taking the Assad regime to task for its well-documented intransigence, but this time around even Mr. Lantos' usual stern message of warning was not delivered to Bashar and his family-run machine of state terror. The regime was able to frame Mrs. Pelosi's visit in the most beneficial and helpful manner possible. By projecting the image of the West "needing" Mr. Assad, his hand in the region was strengthened regardless of the international momentum that had been steadily built up against him since the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
    In fact, the results of the last congressional delegation -- led by Sen. John Kerry -- which visited Assad last December should have been telling; then, as now, despite grand bombast on the importance of "dialogue," the regime merely scored a public-relations victory -- while there was no visible evidence that the Syrian regime was relaxing its repressive domestic and offensive foreign policies.
    Indeed, as Mrs. Pelosi was wrapping up her tete-a-tete, the Ba'athist regime sought to add extra mileage to its PR coup de grace when it released a statement claiming it had played an important role as an interlocutor with Iran as the British hostages were released.
    Simply put, if Damascus is indeed integral for the "road to peace," as Mrs. Pelosi claimed, then Mr. Assad had long made a U-turn. But her words were more than an embarrassment and potential setback for U.S. interests. As brave resistors to Ba'athist rule like Kamal Labwani and Michel Kilo still languish in solitary confinement at the hands of the cruel Political Security Directorate, such prattle has the very real consequence of costing lives. Words kill, and Mrs. Pelosi's ill-timing undercuts substantive efforts by the opposition within and outside Syria to develop a meaningful democratic alternative to a hateful regime that in the end neither benefits U.S. interests nor those of the Syrian people.
    It is a matter of knowing who the enemy is and what they stand for; and as Mrs. Pelosi's colleagues in Congress announced their intention to ban the term "global war on terror," it may come as little surprise that such myopic disdain for this regime's serious ill will against stability and democracy in the region seems to dominate certain policy quarters within the U.S. government.
    Our suggestion to U.S. officials and policy makers of all political persuasion is to heed the advice of Natan Sharansky, survivor of the Soviet Union's gulag -- who suggested that U.S. policy-makers link any positive rapprochement with the Soviet Union with changes in the latter's domestic policy, especially pertaining to mistreatment of the refuseniks. That policy eventually came to successful fruition due to steadfastness showed by U.S. leadership; and it is a policy that can equally prove fruitful today in places like Syria. Linking a demand for justice for the Syrian people with normalized relations can go a long ways in solving the numerous problems that Assad's regime is causing for U.S. security interests. Vacuous open-ended dialogue is simply a one-way street, going the wrong way.

    Farid Ghadry is president of the Reform Party of Syria.

    http://washingtontimes.com/op-ed/200...5637-1395r.htm
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