Thursday, February 08, 2007


"Look, Up in the's Pelosi's Plane!"

This story kind of had me laughing (but not ‘snickering’) because of the obvious discomfort it causes the Democratic leadership:

“Republicans on Wednesday assailed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's request for access to an Air Force transport plane as an extravagance, though former Speaker Dennis Hastert flew in a military jet as well.

“Republicans are taking issue with the size of the plane Pelosi has requested. Pelosi had asked for access to a C-32 plane, a military version of the Boeing 757-200.”
GOP Bristles at Pelosi Plane Request

(Side note: Isn’t this a great piece of reporting by AP’s Jim Kuhnhenn – he opens with a paragraph that reads as if the Republicans are hypocritically objecting to the new Speaker having access to an Air Force plane and immediately follows with a paragraph explaining that the objection isn’t to the plane but rather to the size of the plane…making that first paragraph completely gratuitous.)

Initially, I chalked all of this up to a bit of tone-deafness on the part of the Majority leadership. I was even ready to lambaste her for the “carbon footprint” impacts of such transportation. And then it hit me – there is a genius behind this ostensibly negative publicity.

Now only in San Francisco (or Takoma Park) would the likes of Nancy Pelosi be considered anywhere near “mainstream’. Although things have gone relatively smoothly for her so far, does anyone doubt she will eventually show her true political colors and possibly ruin it for the Democrats’ hopes to capture the White house in 2008. I think behind closed doors, even she would acknowledge that.

With that as the backdrop, this whole plane matter can now be seen as providing the perfect exit strategy. My theory: look for the Democrats to announce that as important as her job as Speaker of the House is, Congresswoman Pelosi still considers her constituents at home her first priority. Accordingly, she will step aside to allow for a new Speaker whose security needs will not simultaneously ravage the environment. Voila: Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer. Whereas Nancy Pelosi would just be beginning her trip when she arrived at Andrews AFB – Congressman Hoyer would already be home; that’s his district.

In one fell swoop then, the Democrats get a more moderate & less-screeching face of the Party and huge kudos for doing right by the planet; all the while eliminating a significant GOP rallying and talking point. How is that not brilliant?

The Right Honorable Gentleman has engaged in fanciful, though brilliant, speculation.
Just to make you aware, the "plane story" has been horribly twisted to the point that it no longer contains much truth at all.

RE: the Plane's size:

FACT: Both the Washington Post and Roll Call have reported that the plane used by Speaker Hastert was too small for Pelosi since it “needs to refuel every 2,000 miles and could not make the nonstop haul to California. ‘The Air Force determined that [Pelosi’s] safety would be best ensured by using a plane that has the fuel capacity to go coast-to-coast,’” a Pelosi spokesperson said.

FACT: Pelosi’s office says “it is up to the Air Force to decide what type and size of plane will be required,” and that “she has never asked for a plane or space on a plane to accommodate ’supporters.’”
Steny? Ugh. After his racist comments throughout the Ehrlich era I don't want that guy in charge of anything.

Your theory is pretty funny, but I'd say the more likely scenario is that the baby (Pelosi) will get her bottle, and no one outside of the blogosphere will care. :-/
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