House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke of the presidential race, the Iraq War and her new life as a national leader during a speech this afternoon in Concord at a packed luncheon fund-raiser for six-term incumbent Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo.
Pelosi made a similar fund-raising stop for Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, late this afternoon in a reception prior to her appearance at this weekend’s California Democratic Party convention in San Jose.
In Concord at the Crown Plaza Hotel, Pelosi charmed the crowd with her trademark mix of smart policy talk with warm personal touches. She called Tauscher “girlfriend” and spoke lovingly of the East Bay lawmaker’s teen-aged daughter, Katherine, who used to arrive at political events in her mother’s arms and is now college shopping.
Some folks may remember a few years ago when the two women quarreled over district boundaries and leadership votes. But those differences are clearly a thing of the past as the pair obviously enjoyed each other’s company. The women also delivered glowing commentaries about each other’s political credentials and skills, a typical but sincere activity at political fund-raisers.
On the policy front, Pelosi reiterated to the crowd what she has been saying on the national stage for months.
She said it’s time to elect a Democratic president who will safely and securely extricate the U.S. from the Iraq War, a costly conflict she says is leading the country into a recession.
But no, she didn’t let on which of the two potential nominees she prefers, referring only to the fact that America is ready for “something new” and “a change,” watchwords for every presidential hopeful.
Pelosi expressed continued concern about long-term political stability in Pakistan and called on the international community to redouble its efforts in Afghanistan before extremist forces gain a further foothold there.
Some folks also asked Pelosi as she mingled prior to her speech about what it was like to be Speaker of the House of Representatives.
She answered them from the podium, where she paused, smiled and said, “It’s absolutely fabulous.”
Meanwhile, the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee sent out a less than flattering missive about Pelosi’s appearance for McNerney later in the day. They characterized it as a reward for voting “in lock-step with Pelosi 96 percent of the time.”
The NRCC is backing McNerney’s presumed GOP opponent, former Assemblyman Dean Andal of Stockton. (Pictured on the right.) McNerney, a freshman who defeated Republican Richard Pombo in 2006, is one of the top Republican targets in the country.
Tauscher is also seeking re-election. Her presumed opponent is Republican Nick Gerber of Moraga (pictured on the right) but the political novice is considered a serious long-shot.
The NRCC hasn’t sent out a single email on Gerber’s behalf yet. What’s up with that?