The government is on the precipice of a shutdown, and if Republicans can’t get to 218 votes on their side of the aisle, Pelosi will get to call in the cavalry once again.
It would be the second time in a matter of weeks that she’s gotten to flex her muscle: She successfully squelched a pre-Thanksgiving deal on a tax extenders package negotiated exclusively by Senate Democrats and House Republicans — a deal that would have been a nonstarter for her caucus and President Barack Obama.
“The minute we got wind of what [it] would be and that it had a path, before it gained any respectability, I called our members and said, ‘This is what I think is happening … but I have to know that I can say to the president that this will sustain a veto,’” Pelosi recalled.
With Obama still in the White House, Pelosi remains a player, as her impact on the tax extenders package showed. But how much leverage she retains in the 114th could come down to how she fits into the Republican-controlled Congress over the next two years.
“I don’t think anyone is irrelevant. We have leverage if they don’t have the votes,” she said. “They have leverage because they know we will be responsible. And that allows them to be irresponsible to a certain extent.”
Pelosi plays the long game better that Boehner ever could. And that includes 2016 and beyond.
And 2016? Well, that’s a whole new ballgame. By then, the country could see its first female president, said the nation’s first female speaker.
“Let me say this about Hillary [Rodham] Clinton: When she runs, she will win. And when she wins, she’ll go to the White House as one of the most prepared people in modern history to go there,” Pelosi said, stopping just short of an endorsement that would be significant for Clinton, the former first lady and ex-secretary of State.
That's got to hurt ol Orange Julius to know he's not even leader of 80% of his own party.