Pelosi Approval Unharmed After Syria, Iraq Smears

pelosi.jpgDespite weeks of relentless right-wing attacks, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) latest approval ratings are virtually unchanged from results taken during the first week of April, a new AP/Ipsos poll shows.

Americans today approve of Pelosi’s handling of her job as Speaker by a margin of 45 percent to 42 percent, compared to the 46 percent/44 percent approval she received last month. President Bush’s ratings in the latest poll are 35 percent approval, 61 percent disapproval.

Pelosi’s steady rating comes after taking heavy fire from media figures and conservatives, first after leading a bipartisan delegation to Syria, then by helping to push the first Iraq withdrawal legislation through Congress. A few lowlights from April:

The Washington Post

“Two weeks ago Ms. Pelosi rammed legislation through the House of Representatives that would strip Mr. Bush of his authority as commander in chief to manage troop movements in Iraq. Now she is attempting to introduce a new Middle East policy that directly conflicts with that of the president. … Ms. Pelosi’s attempt to establish a shadow presidency is not only counterproductive, it is foolish.” [Link]

NBC News’ Matt Lauer and Tim Russert:

LAUER: But if the Democrats and Speaker Pelosi appear to be acting irresponsibly or incompetently, and let’s face it, a lot of people think she messed up on this one, what’s the impact for Democrats overall?

RUSSERT: It’s considerable. [Link]

CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux

“Why should the Americans, or even the international community, see this any more as a political stunt here, a publicity stunt, a big wet kiss to President Al-Assad?” [Link]

“Nancy Pelosi in Syria and in the crosshairs of Vice President Cheney. Is she on her way to becoming the most controversial House Speaker yet?” [Link]

Weekly Standard editor William Kristol

“The Speaker of the House is in Syria, a country aiding the terrorists attacking our troops. I think it is really a bad for America — I don’t want to be partisan — I really feel bad. I think it is a bad day for the U.S. policy that Speaker Pelosi made this trip.” [Link]

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT)

“I respectfully and strongly disagree with Arlen Specter and with Nancy Pelosi. I believe her visit to Syria was a mistake, that it was bad for the United States of America and good for the Syrians.” [Link]

Chief Deputy Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)

“The Speaker and many of her Democratic allies have become so drunk with grandiose visions of deposing Bush that they break bread with terrorists and enemies of the United States.” [Link]

This week, American Enterprise Institute fellow Norm Ornstein said of the attacks, “I have yet to see anything with Pelosi that is even semi-tangible evidence of transgression.” Brookings Institution scholar Thomas Mann added that Pelosi’s progressive leadership has proven to be “more effective and popular” than conservatives expected, so it’s “no surprise that she has become a target of attacks and unsubstantiated rumors.”

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