We all saw Nancy Pelosi eat Donald Trump for breakfast during their joint press conference today. It turns out she wasn’t done with him after that, as she ended up feeding him to the lions for dinner. Pelosi, along with her colleague Chuck Schumer, may have done as much to help bring about Trump’s downfall today as anything else that’s recently transpired – and yet the sheer brilliance of it may not be fully visible to everyone quite yet.
Even as the press conference was playing out, we noticed some folks on social media complaining that Nancy Pelosi didn’t bother to truly sock it to Donald Trump while she had him on the ropes today. But that was the entire point: you don’t defeat Trump by playing his game, because his game is the only thing he’s good at. Instead, you win by taking his game away from him.
Pelosi repeatedly put Trump in his place today while the cameras were rolling, but she did it her way. Her relaxed, smiling confidence threw Trump for a loop, because after he realized he couldn’t get her to crack, he had nowhere to go with it. At one point, after Pelosi subtly burned Trump, he looked over to Schumer, as if to ask for help. That’s another Trump weakness: he’s so inherently sexist, he just assumes other men are also sexist.
Donald Trump seemed to think Chuck Schumer was going to side with him in that moment, because how dare a woman like Nancy Pelosi get so uppity? Of course this simply allowed Schumer to reel Trump in, before hitting him with the fact that the Washington Post fact checker keeps assigning Trump a bunch of Pinocchios.
But the true brilliance of Nancy Pelosi came shortly after the press conference. She went into a private meeting with Democrats and, knowing that her remarks would leak, she called Trump a “skunk” who has “manhood” issues. If she’d made such remarks to Trump’s face, in front of the cameras, it would have played right into his hands and given him the opportunity to fight back. Instead, she socked it to him from a safe distance – and it worked.
Nancy Pelosi knows exactly what she’s doing. Chuck Schumer knows that Nancy Pelosi is the best there is at this. Their good cop, bad cop, badder cop, badass cop routine today left Trump playing the fool on live national television, and ensured that all of the headlines for Trump today were not just negative, but humiliating. The next move is Trump’s, and he’s so flustered right now, he’ll probably end up recklessly doing something to make the headlines even worse for himself by the time the day is over.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report