For Pelosi, Heading Off Impeachment Requires Carrots And Sticks

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during her weekly press conference at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on May 23, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
June 17, 2019 8:34 a.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is widely seen as one of the most savvy and agile political minds in Congress right now. And perhaps no issue showcases her behind-the-scenes skill like her caucus control on impeachment.

According to the Washington Post, maintaining control on such an emotional issue — one she thinks is political suicide — takes a mix of preparation, strategy and the looming threat of retribution.

For instance, last month, the pro-impeachment forces seemed poised to mount an insurrection led by House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY). Pelosi called a midnight meeting and loaded up the six party leaders with well articulated arguments on how damaging impeachment could be. Nadler backed down and has not publicly supported impeachment.

She’s kept the rest of the impeachment-ready members in check both by enjoying the trust she’s earned from years of successful strategizing and the fear that comes with her comfort using hardline tactics in retribution.

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