President Trump never looks a gift horse in the mouth (forget about what the heck a “gift horse” is or why anyone would look it in the mouth).
The Republicans lost control of the House on Election Day, not in a “blue wave” but in a solid defeat, nonetheless. So with Democrats set to take the reins in January 2019, Trump wants to give them a hand in governing.
“In all fairness, Nancy Pelosi deserves to be chosen Speaker of the House by the Democrats. If they give her a hard time, perhaps we will add some Republican votes. She has earned this great honor!” Trump wrote on Twitter as a crisp sunny day broke in Washington, D.C.
Pelosi, the 78-year-old Democrat from California who was House Speaker from 2007 until the GOP took control of the chamber in 2011, is poised to resume that powerful position — and she wants it.
“I feel very confident in the support that I have in the House Democratic Caucus, and my focus is on winning this election because so much is at stake,” Pelosi told reporters in July. Just this month, she told The Washington Post: “Nobody is indispensable. But I do think that I am best qualified to take us into the future, protect the Affordable Care Act, to do our infrastructure bill and the rest. Stepping down this path, I know the ropes.”
And Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said a few days ago: “I expect Nancy Pelosi will be Speaker, and I believe that she will be Speaker until she decides to leave.”
Trump knows a good thing when he sees one. If Pelosi takes over — and Democrats follow through on their promises to gridlock the legislature with endless investigations — Trump will have a very clear target in his 2020 re-election campaign.
Throughout the 2018 midterms, Republicans sought to connect Democratic candidates to Pelosi — they ran more than 250 anti-Pelosi TV ads in some 75 House districts during the last months of the campaign. That forced some candidates to repudiate Pelosi — and she wasn’t even Speaker.
For Trump, though, losing the House — but getting Pelosi back as a target for 2020 — is a dream come true. And he knows it.
The president telephoned Pelosi on Tuesday night after Democrats were projected to win control of the House, and the two reportedly talked about her calls for bipartisanship in her victory speech. But Trump also warned Democrats about gumming up the works.
“If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level. Two can play that game!” he wrote on Twitter.