Just two weeks and two days ago, on October 15th, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi met privately with the House Democratic Caucus. She had already announced a press conference for after the meeting, which suggested that she was hoping to emerge from the meeting and announce that she was holding a vote on the impeachment inquiry. But she ended up announcing nothing.
It was clear at the time that there simply weren’t enough House Democrats who were ready to put their names on an impeachment inquiry. They wanted the public opinion needle to move more in a pro-impeachment direction, so they could feel safe that when this was all said and done, such a vote wouldn’t end up being hung around their necks when they ran for reelection in 2020.
Again, that was just about two weeks ago. But now, as was pointed out during the Chris Hayes show tonight on MSNBC, the landscape has shifted so thoroughly that even the House Democrats in moderate districts are comfortable inking their names on an impeachment resolution. So what’s changed?
Our take is that it’s all about what’s been transpiring behind closed doors. Impeachment polls continue to inch upward, showing that a slight but growing majority of Americans now favor impeaching and removing Donald Trump, even before the public hearings begin. Over the past two weeks those numbers haven’t changed much.
But during that same time, a number of impeachment witnesses have testified in closed hearings. House Democrats have gotten a look at the witnesses they’ll be able to put on TV during public hearings, and they’re expecting it to drive impeachment poll numbers even higher, so now they’re ready to commit to the impeachment resolution. These past two weeks have changed everything.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report