CNN Goes Gaga Over ‘Iconic’ ‘Non-Partisan’ Pelosi's ‘Girl Power’ as Speaker

CNN’s all-female panel couldn’t contain their excitement over Democrat Nancy Pelosi being elected again as House Speaker, after she last assumed that role in 2007. CNN’s Dana Bash in particular provided over-the-top feminist commentary on how amazing the swampy liberal politician was, despite her low favorability ratings and partisan record.

Immediately following the floor vote where Pelosi was confirmed as speaker, Bash joined host Brooke Baldwin and Gloria Borger to fangirl over the “historic” moment from “powerful” Pelosi. Baldwin asked Bash about the “incredibly compelling” interview she did with the Democrat last November, (you know, the one where Bash gushed over the type of chocolate Pelosi likes to eat,) and asked the correspondent how Pelosi must be feeling at this moment. Bash complained how hard Pelosi had to fight against those mean Republicans:

BASH: Well, it's vindication. It is — it is a reminder that being confident and being strong as a woman is not necessarily a bad thing and not a negative. It is, you know, the fact that you can persevere over an onslaught of — of negative attacks, which is certainly something that she has had to deal with, mostly from Republicans over the —

BALDWIN: And will continue to.

BASH: — right, exactly, but being used as a club against her rank and file Democrats in ad after ad after ad, some of which rubbed off and so that's why it wasn't as easy as it was 12 years ago to get the votes that she needed. She needed to make compromises, but that is a hallmark of her — her leadership and why and how she got to be where she is, because she understands the need for consensus and for compromise, not just across the aisle but with the people who she leads within the Democratic caucus. So it was not a given that she was going to be able to do this again and she had to agree that she would be term limited. She is 78 years old, she is one of several Democratic leaders who are about that age, and so there was a very big push for a new generation and it was not an accident that Hakeem Jeffries who a couple of hours ago I guess it was now gave the speech nominating her. He is the Democratic caucus chair, that he is the one to do so. It seemed to me that that was an indication that she was making clear she was passing the baton to a new generation.

Bash went on to reiterate that Pelosi was the first female speaker in America’s history, a point CNN journalists repeated about a zillion times Thursday. She went on to praise Pelosi’s “girl power” and "nonpartisan" “femininity” that she “didn't wear” “on her sleeve,” even after CNN played a clip of Pelosi praising herself today for “breaking the marble ceiling” (a comment she made in 2007 as well):

BASH: One thing I’ll add to that is obviously we were there watching when she first became the very first female speaker, she's obviously still the only female speaker —

BORGER: Right.

BASH: — in the history of America. It was obviously an historic moment for women but she wasn't as — she didn't wear her femininity on her sleeve and for lack of a better way to say it, her girl power on her sleeve the way she is now and that was one of the things that was striking to me. When I've talked to her and seen her in other interviews since, the fact that she is very openly, aggressively, consciously trying to send messages to women of all parties in a nonpartisan way and of all professions, all walks of life that it is okay to be a powerful woman without, you know, getting all of the baggage that generally comes along with it.


This isn’t the first time Bash and her CNN colleagues have bent over backwards to praise Pelosi. In 2007, she gushed that Pelosi’s election was “a moment to savor,” while the network tweeted more recently that the speaker was the “original badass woman of Washington.”

 
It’s worth mentioning that Pelosi isn’t well-liked, ranking low in favorability in recent polls. On top of that, she has made numerous gaffes in the past few years, as embarrassing as forgetting who was president on multiple occasions, but these incidents were glossed over by the media and surely won’t be remembered by CNN today.
 

 
Read the full transcript below:

CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin
January 3, 2019
2:00 p.m. Eastern

BROOKE BALDWIN: Folks, history being made today up on capitol hill where the most diverse U.S. Congress ever is being sworn in. So, yes, finally more men and women like you representing you. Leading the charge in House, Nancy Pelosi, who will once given wield the gavel as speaker. She becomes the first person in six decades to return to the Speaker's chair after losing it. Fun fact. The last was Democrat Sam Rayburn of Texas back in 1955 and when asked about her milestone and what it means in the Nation’s Capitol today, Nancy Pelosi today said this:

NANCY PELOSI: I don’t think of it as an accomplishment. I think of it as a responsibility in how we go forward and what that means in terms of the lives of America’s working families and that more — this isn't breaking a glass ceiling. This is breaking a marble ceiling in the Capitol of the United States. 

BALDWIN: CNN's Sunlen Serfaty is in the middle of the action on capitol hill and Sunlen, between Nancy Pelosi and her news and all these new freshmen members on both the House and Senate, you've been talking to so many of this many of them, what's the feeling up on capitol hill right now?

SUNLEN SERFATY: Yeah, Brooke, I think it's an emotional day for many people, especially those incoming members. I can tell you in talking to a lot of them, the ones that make up the most diverse class into history ever, I think the moment is just not lost on them. They know their place in history and as they're sworn in today, that are feeling the gravity of that moment, their place in history. This freshman class certainly ushering in a new face to Congress as we said, the most diverse and the record breaking number of women, certainly a big notable story line coming after midterms I know we talked about extensively. I want to highlight one touching moment. Ilhan Omar, an incoming member of congress from Minnesota, she is the first Somali-American elected in Congress, one of two first Muslim-American women in Congress. She posted this photo on her Twitter of her and her father arriving at the D.C. area airport saying that the last time they arrived is when they were refugees 23 years ago and I spoke to her about that moment and her father there was by her side. It was — you could sense the emotion of the moment. Here's what they had to say. 

ILHAN OMAR: As we exited our planes, we realized that him and I had not returned on that same airport —

[BREAK-IN LIVE TO HOUSE FLOOR; PELOSI ELECTED SPEAKER]

BALDWIN: This is the moment Nancy Pelosi had been waiting for. Let me repeat the statistic. This is the first person in this decade to return to the speakership in the house of representatives, Nancy Pelosi in her bright raspberry dress today taking on the gavel once again. Gloria Borger and Dana Bash are with me. Happy New Year to both of you ladies and just, let’s Dana, I can still see scenes of you and now Speaker Pelosi eating ice cream in her old, you know, haunt in little Italy in Baltimore when you did that incredibly extensive and compelling interview with her. I mean, could you just talk us through since you had been covering her for so long. What does this moment feel like for her?

DANA BASH: Well, it's vindication. It is — it is a reminder that being confident and being strong as a woman is not necessarily a bad thing and not a negative. It is, you know, the fact that you can persevere over an onslaught of — of negative attacks, which is certainly something that she has had to deal with, mostly from Republicans over the —

BALDWIN: And will continue to. 

BASH: — right, exactly, but being used as a club against her rank and file Democrats in ad after ad after ad, some of which rubbed off and so that's why it wasn't as easy as it was 12 years ago to get the votes that she needed. She needed to make compromises, but that is a hallmark of her — her leadership and why and how she got to be where she is, because she understands the need for consensus and for compromise, not just across the aisle but with the people who she leads within the Democratic caucus. So it was not a given that she was going to be able to do this again and she had to agree that she would be term limited. She is 78 years old, she is one of several Democratic leaders who are about that age, and so there was a very big push for a new generation and it was not an accident that Hakeem Jeffries who a couple of hours ago I guess it was now gave the speech nominating her. He is the Democratic caucus chair, that he is the one to do so. It seemed to me that that was an indication that she was making clear she was passing the baton to a new generation. 

BALDWIN: Gloria, what do you think? 

GLORIA BORGER: Well, you know, I agree with Dana and let me just say Dana's interview with her was absolutely amazing because she was so honest about what it has taken for her to get where she is. I mean, I was sitting up in the chamber in 2007 when she was first elected speaker and was surrounded by her children and her grandchildren, and it was such a moment because of course it was the first woman speaker and here she is again having lost the House, been defeated, people in her own party saying she's too old, we need new blood, and she made it very clear as she did to Dana in Dana’s interview that she knows how to count and she knows how to get things done and if you talk to anybody in the Obama administration, they will tell you, including our colleague David Axelrod, they would tell you they would not have gotten ObamaCare were it not for Nancy's ability to corral her Democrats and — and count the votes. Absolutely a skill.

BALDWIN: Such a skill. Such a skill.

BASH: One thing I’ll add to that is obviously we were there watching when she first became the very first female speaker, she's obviously still the only female speaker —

BORGER: Right.

BASH: — in the history of America. It was obviously an historic moment for women but she wasn't as — she didn't wear her femininity on her sleeve and for lack of a better way to say it, her girl power on her sleeve the way she is now and that was one of the things that was striking to me. When I've talked to her and seen her in other interviews since, the fact that she is very openly, aggressively, consciously trying to send messages to women of all parties in a nonpartisan way and of all professions, all walks of life that it is okay to be a powerful woman without, you know, getting all of the baggage that generally comes along with it. 

BALDWIN: Sure and I just want to remind everyone the quote, right, her daughter made news in the last 24 hours, you ladies know where I'm going to go because she's tough, man, woman in that position, not on do you have to know how to count, you have to be tough and this is what her daughter said: “She'll cut your head off and you won't even know you're bleeding.” You know and so that from her own daughter and again, by Republicans, Dana made the point a second ago about how she's known to being public enemy number one. You know, we’re going into the 2020 election, she will continue to be, obviously who knows how this will evolve between her and the Republicans in the Senate and of course the guy over at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I mean, how, Gloria to you, how does she handle that? 

BORGER: Well, look at the way she handled the meeting with Donald Trump and Chuck Schumer —

BALDWIN: In the Oval Office.

BORGER: — before the holidays in the Oval Office where she came right out and I thought that was such a moment where, you know, the President was kind of implying I know you got a race you've got to deal with and it's a little difficult for you right now and she just shut him down and she said don't characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting as the leader of House Democrats. So she wasn’t going to let him get away with that. Don't characterize the strength that I bring to anything and I think that was sort of an iconic moment for her, which is you're not going to get away with that, Mr. President. As you know, in these interviews that she's been doing, she has not held back about what it's like to deal with the President. She — she told NBC this morning, you know, you're not dealing with science, you're not dealing with facts, it's very difficult. So I don't think she's going to hold back because she's being attacked by Republicans. Being attacked by Republicans for Nancy Pelosi is kind of old news. I mean, she's been the poster child for, I don't know, a decade maybe. 

BASH: Decade. Exactly. 

BORGER: Exactly. So that's kind of old news for her. Now she needs to get something done and corral her Democrats and not let them overreach. I think that's — I think that’s her real concern right now. 

BASH: Yeah and the one thing I also want to add to that is that she obviously is not afraid to stand up to the President, but there is a mutual admiration there. I mean, talk to anybody who knows the President and they will tell you that he gets it. He gets that she is powerful. I mean, what is the President known to respect? People who made a lot of money and people who can wield their power and people who play golf. I don't know how her golf game is but — but he respects the fact that she can wield her power in a pretty remarkable way, much more, as he saw, than the Republicans who have led the House caucuses over the last several congresses and so how that manifests itself with negotiations like the one we have in front of us now, you know, who knows. But if you're looking at real bipartisan legislation, which could happen, it could happen, infrastructure, prescription drug prices, things that do matter to both parties and to in the case of prescription drugs to every consumer and voter out there, maybe it could make a difference. 

BALDWIN: But staying on — staying on for a second on trump and Nancy Pelosi and I'm sure you ladies as well being away on break for a minute, I got a lot of okay, well, you know, new congress, what's this going to mean for President Trump, what happens and what happens is, you know, this is really the first time that this President will be facing accountability in the sense that you now have Democrats in control on the House side and — and I know we can't predict the future, although a lot of people wish we could, Gloria, what are the first couple of steps we will be witnessing for Democrats pushing for answers do you think? 

BORGER: Well, look, the Democrats are going to be — start off talking about the president's tax returns. They’re going to — they're going to want accountability on border policy. The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is saying he might subpoena the acting Attorney General to appear before the committee because he hasn't been answering his request to appear about how he was appointed. You're going to hear about ethics, anti-corruption laws, campaign finance, you may even hear them talk about extended background checks for guns. I think they’re going to have to do a couple of things. They're going to push back on Donald Trump and exercise their oversight ability but they can't descend into chaos. They have to prove they have an agenda to present to the American people, whether it's about drugs, prescription drugs. 


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