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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 10:15 PM
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Conservatives use Pelosi as face of liberalism in campaign ads
By Karen Tumulty
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 1, 2010; A01

Beware! Nancy Pelosi is a colossal tax-dollar-engorged monster who ravages small towns and must be brought down by Republican ray guns. Or at least that is what a cartoon version of the House speaker looked like in "Attack of the 50-Foot Pelosi," a television ad that a conservative group called Right Change aired in Pennsylvania last month.

A new Web site by the National Republican Congressional Committee portrays her as a malevolent puppet master, yanking the strings of 10 vulnerable House Democrats.

And a video on the campaign home page of GOP House candidate Harold Johnson of North Carolina makes her sound like someone out of those creepy cable ads for burglar alarms. "If you're a small-business owner," Johnson says, "you get up every morning and you put your helmet on, because you think that Nancy Pelosi is going to come into your bedroom and hit you over the head with a baseball bat."

This is the kind of problem that J. Dennis Hastert, Carl Albert and Frederick Gillett never had to deal with. House speakers, with a few exceptions, have been such colorless legislative insiders that the mention of their names in most of America would have received no reaction beyond quizzical looks.

Not this year, and not this speaker. "If you go to almost any grass-roots event and you mention the speaker's name," said Bill Flores, a Republican who is challenging Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Tex.), "you will get a huge response from the audience." Which is why, by Flores's estimate, he manages to drop Pelosi's name into his speeches about as often as he does President Obama's.

Pelosi (D-Calif.) has become "the face of liberalism in the Obama era," more so than Obama himself, said Julian E. Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton.


Pelosi's overall approval ratings had not changed much over the previous three months, but the partisan passion that surrounded her had grown more intense. Among Republicans, the number who "strongly disapprove" of her performance jumped from 60 percent to 74 percent, which was greater than their negative view of Obama. But there was a corresponding rise in her approval among Democrats: Thirty-eight percent "strongly approved" of her performance as speaker in late March, up from 22 percent in mid-January.

So when the Republican National Committee unfurled a big red "FIRE PELOSI" banner last month from a window of its Capitol Hill headquarters, right above the front door, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out a photo of it in its own fundraising e-mail.

"Fire Pelosi" became a GOP rallying cry 15 minutes after the health-care vote, when the RNC launched a Web site depicting the speaker engulfed in flames and brandishing her fist. The Republicans say that one appeal raised $1.5 million in less than a week; Democrats called upon her supporters to come up with at least $1 million in response.

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rpannier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 10:18 PM
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1. What a brilliantly fresh idea...
If this was 2006
Because that's what they based their whole 2006 congressional campaigns on

Be afraid, be very afraid of Pelosi
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