Pelosi: It’s Time to Move On
August 25, 2008
There is a nominee, a running mate and a convention to deal with this week, and the Democrats are moving on”no more talking about the still-healing bruises from the protracted primaries.
That’s the message House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered Monday morning.
A frustrated speaker set the tone for the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Denver by saying the national media needs to shed the “cocoon” it wore during the primary process and think about what’s coming up, not about the past.
“We are going into the future. What did I walk into, a time capsule?” she said. “To stay wallowing in this forever is not productive.”
Still, she said she respected New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s contributions to the party and to women.
“I get sad any time a woman is not successful. That’s really a very important part of who I am,” Pelosi said. “I think Hillary Clinton was very successful … Let’s not spoil it.”
She said she supported a roll call vote on the convention floor, a suggestion made by Sen. Barack Obama to acknowledge his former rival. Some believe such a vote, which will allow delegates pledged to Clinton to formally vote for her nomination, could undermine Obama. But Pelosi dismissed that and the notion that Clinton and her former-president husband would steal the spotlight from the presumptive nominee. Both Clintons have long histories in the party that should be acknowledged, she said.
“Let us be positive and honor her for that,” she said of Hillary Clinton’s contributions.
As for the former president, she said the contrasts between his 8 years in office and those of his successor will be in sharp focus.
She said she, Pelosi, would do what she could to represent women and salve the wounds they still feel from the primary. She said she believed they would support Obama in the end.
“Women are very smart voters. There’s a 20 percent gender gap (between Obama and Arizona Sen. John McCain) already, even before the convention and even before the complete reconciliation that we need,” she said.
Despite lobbing several shots of anti-Republican and anti-McCain sentiment, Pelosi said her advice to Obama if he is elected would be to encourage him to include Republicans. The country’s challenges are too great for one party to tackle, she said.
Still, she said she looked forward to convention week and the national spotlight on her party.
“I’m confident, coming out of this convention, that people will see the confidence, the unity and the organization of the Democratic Party,” she said.