Did Nancy Pelosi Get The Message?

She followed up her victory with a self-defeating blunder. Now people are asking, Is Pelosi up to the job?

CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY

Speaker of the House-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader-elect Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) talk to the media.

There's only one thing dumber in politics than picking a fight when you don't have to; it's picking one when you can't win. That's why pretty much everyone in Washington is mystified by Nancy Pelosi. Through a midterm-election campaign in which Republicans had tried to caricature her as a fuzzy-headed and dangerous San Francisco liberal, she succeeded in keeping the focus on them. And the first woman Speaker-to-be was pitch-perfect in the euphoric days that followed the Democrats' big win. She said the right things, and she did the right things, like quietly reshuffling her ranks to avoid a showdown between...

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