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Pelosi town hall shows she played impeachment masterfully

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During a CNN Town Hall House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reflects on former President Bill Clinton's impeachment, saying he was impeached for "being stupid."

Posted: Dec 6, 2019 9:10 AM
Updated: Dec 6, 2019 9:10 AM

"Can we not have any more questions about impeachment?" Nancy Pelosi asked halfway through her CNN Town Hall meeting.

The answer, of course, was "no."

Hours earlier, Pelosi had stood on the Speaker's balcony, and announced on live television that the House Judiciary Committee and other house chairs will draft articles of impeachment against President Trump. The statement brings us closer to the third presidential impeachment in US history, and naturally became the focus of the town hall.

Pelosi said, with a straight face, that the impending impeachment of President Trump, which she has ordered and directed, was not about politics.

"It's about honoring our oath of office," she told the audience. "Politics is not even a consideration in this."

That is the kind of thing that leaders like Pelosi say when they know the politics are lined up in their favor. And, of course, Pelosi has clearly considered the politics: Her decision to push forward with impeachment is a sure sign that Democratic leaders believe voters will support and reward their actions.

Polls indicate that more Americans support impeachment than not. Support for removing Trump from office has increased in the last two months, thanks to Pelosi's methodical staging of tightly-managed public hearings designed to make a public, easy-to-understand case that Trump has abused power, obstructed Congress and violated his oath of office.

Along the way, Pelosi's own stock has risen. As CNN's Harry Enten noted in October, "Pelosi is arguably the most popular nationally-known politician currently holding federal elected office," and has higher favorable ratings than Trump or Pence.

That didn't happen by accident.

Pelosi has served in the House for 32 years. She was born into a political dynasty: Her father and brother both served as mayors of Baltimore. She is the first female Speaker of the House, and the first person in nearly 60 years to hold the office twice.

It's safe to say that Pelosi does not get out of bed in the morning without considering the politics of putting on her slippers.

Since impeachment enjoys considerable public support, thanks to her political acumen, Pelosi has room to speak like a statesman.

Over and over during the town hall, Pelosi cited the Founding Fathers, describing impeachment as a constitutional obligation forced upon members of Congress by Trump's actions.

She referenced an oft-cited quote -- "the time has found us" -- from the author Thomas Paine, who said that history had forced him and his fellow Revolutionary War-era agitators to take a stand.

"I truly believe the times have found us to protect and defend our democracy," Pelosi told the town hall audience. She also reminded them that in 2008, during her first tour as Speaker, Pelosi shot down efforts by liberal House Democrats to remove then-President George Bush from office over the Iraq War.

Back then, Pelosi bluntly declared impeachment to be "off the table" and allowed a motion for impeachment by Rep. Dennis Kucinich to die in committee.

This time around, Pelosi has no such qualms. "I have to admit that today was quite historical," she said at the end of the town hall. A bit of modesty from the most powerful woman in America.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 608519

Reported Deaths: 9693
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion840461335
Lake45349684
Allen32803548
Hamilton29394315
St. Joseph27380381
Elkhart24404345
Vanderburgh19411249
Tippecanoe17970138
Johnson15069295
Porter14783169
Hendricks14401248
Madison10965221
Vigo10726181
Clark10677144
Monroe9383110
Delaware9116134
LaPorte9065163
Howard8236144
Kosciusko806983
Warrick672999
Hancock6697104
Bartholomew6484100
Floyd6428110
Wayne6136162
Grant5991115
Dubois555579
Boone551168
Morgan541295
Henry507864
Marshall503984
Cass483263
Dearborn479845
Noble473059
Jackson425047
Shelby417581
Lawrence391079
Clinton373043
Gibson370359
Harrison348144
DeKalb347164
Montgomery345754
Knox335639
Miami321444
Steuben313745
Whitley307326
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Daviess270474
Jefferson263338
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Fayette247148
Greene239862
Posey239328
Wells236051
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Scott225339
Clay222532
Randolph213548
Jennings198936
Sullivan192333
Spencer191321
Washington186423
Fountain184027
Starke175443
Jay167623
Owen165737
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Orange159534
Carroll158015
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Perry154229
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Pulaski97037
Newton90921
Brown88035
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Crawford7999
Martin73713
Warren6817
Switzerland6615
Union6287
Ohio4907
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 859841

Reported Deaths: 10680
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101171707
Cuyahoga855711125
Hamilton64017448
Montgomery43107418
Summit34836761
Lucas31350625
Butler30973232
Stark25786435
Warren19671140
Lorain19017223
Mahoning17321338
Lake16080154
Clermont15926111
Delaware1438878
Licking13204137
Trumbull12809316
Fairfield1279381
Greene12055137
Medina11591168
Clark10942265
Wood10348158
Allen9897126
Portage9296109
Miami916873
Richland9139118
Marion7459113
Tuscarawas7381182
Columbiana7327124
Pickaway726150
Wayne7034171
Muskingum703141
Erie6152129
Hancock552390
Ross548998
Scioto539164
Geauga508455
Darke470292
Ashtabula453073
Lawrence452654
Union451828
Sandusky436662
Mercer433589
Seneca430166
Huron428741
Auglaize422264
Shelby421222
Jefferson419269
Belmont416840
Washington388740
Athens38009
Putnam374975
Madison355129
Knox352622
Ashland344938
Fulton338443
Defiance330086
Crawford322374
Preble320637
Brown312921
Logan307332
Ottawa293943
Clinton290143
Williams278667
Highland275118
Jackson263845
Guernsey254125
Champaign252028
Fayette236530
Morrow23234
Perry231318
Holmes225474
Henry218749
Hardin213033
Coshocton205622
Van Wert202245
Gallia196726
Wyandot196051
Pike176217
Adams176115
Hocking172024
Carroll155616
Paulding144321
Noble120540
Meigs108624
Monroe100732
Harrison89121
Morgan83130
Vinton70213
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