New York magazine
Her Game Image Credit: New York magazine
Her Game Image Credit: New York magazine

Her Game

Nancy Pelosi has not had a simple job since the Democrats won back the House last year, having to, most prominently, swat away an ill-fated attempt to replace her as Speaker, navigate uncharted political waters with the emergence of the progressive “Squad,” and try to negotiate with Donald Trump.

Gabriel Debenedetti

But on no single issue has she faced a more persistent drumbeat from assorted members of her caucus than the impeachment of the president, whom her entire party regards as a criminal but whom far fewer have believed it wise, politically, to prosecute. Suddenly, though, almost her entire caucus is behind her, and Pelosi’s months of caution (years, really, since Maxine Waters and Al Green first started calling for impeachment) look something like strategic prescience. It’s true that the Ukraine story was impossible to predict, and the polling swing in favor of impeachment has happened faster than even its loudest boosters could have hoped. But having held its fire on matters of Trump’s emoluments, his tax records, his alleged collusion, and his obstruction of justice, the Democratic House appears to be in a nearly unified position, poised to bring charges on an egregious, easy-to-follow transgression committed in plain sight—which even her lefty critics have to admit is not the worst place to be.

When Pelosi convened the 235 House Democrats behind closed doors on a Tuesday afternoon late last month to announce that she would back an impeachment inquiry into Trump—now that there was clear evidence he had pressured Ukraine’s president to effectively support his 2020 campaign—she was careful to remind them she’d had a plan from the start. “We had ourselves on a path, seeking the truth there, and that work must still go


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