MSNBC's Mitchell Mourns 'Painful' End of Nancy Pelosi's 'Historic' Speakership

During her 1PM ET hour show on MSNBC on Tuesday, host Andrea Mitchell sympathized with exiting Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, remarking that the California Democrat having to hand over the gavel to John Boehner in January has "got to be painful," but that Pelosi is "doing it with class."

Mitchell made the comments after talking to Politico's congressional bureau chief Martin Kady about a recent interview Pelosi conducted with the political website. Mitchell cited excerpts: "Pelosi says quote, 'I'm obviously devastated by the loss we had' but she also says she 'feels serene' and is already working on getting Democrats to win back the House, a tall order." Kady portrayed Pelosi as defiant: "I mean she's really still promoting the accomplishments of the Democratic congress, even the accomplishments that some believe, you know, may have cost her some seats in this House."

After Mitchell observed that there may now be "disconnect" between Pelosi and the White House, Kady predicted: "Nancy Pelosi will certainly get her phone calls returned by the White House, but she's not – you know, they are not going to have to bend to what she wants because they're going to be in a minority and they're probably going to lose even more seats in the next election."

Mitchell then became nostalgic, as she longingly recalled: "It's incredible, Martin, it just seems as though it were yesterday, but it's really four years ago that she was – that historic moment, taking up the gavel with all the children and grandchildren, you know, collected around her. We were anchoring from the Hill that day." Kady replied: "I remember." Mitchell lamented: "And it was such a big step. And now – how things change in politics."

After Kady described how "in a couple weeks [Pelosi will] be standing there, handing that [gavel] over to John Boehner," Mitchell expressed with sorrow: "It's got to be painful, but she's doing it with class." Kady agreed: "Yeah."

Here is a full transcript of Mitchell's December 21 exchange with Kady:

1:25PM ET

ANDREA MITCHELL: No regrets, that's the message from Nancy Pelosi as her days as speaker wind down. In an interview with Politico, Pelosi says quote, 'I'm obviously devastated by the loss we had' but she also says she 'feels serene' and is already working on getting Democrats to win back the House, a tall order. Martin Kady is Politico's congressional bureau chief. No regrets, but how do you say you're sorry after 63 seats lost and, you know, no prospects in the coming year?

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Pelosi's Exit Interview; Last Days of Rep. Pelosi's Tenure As House Speaker]
                
MARTIN KADY: Yeah. Yeah, I mean the prospects got even worse today if you saw the release of these census numbers. There's going to be a lot more seats in red states. But, you know, Nancy Pelosi is not terribly nostalgic in this interview that she did with David Rogers of Politico. You know, she's like, 'Well, I regret losing these seats but I don't regret losing the gavel and, you know, we didn't lose because of health care.' And you saw her here, she's signing the – enrolling the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' bill. I mean she's really still promoting the accomplishments of the Democratic congress, even the accomplishments that some believe, you know, may have cost her some seats in this House.

MITCHELL: Such as health care.

KADY: Yeah.

MITCHELL: I was really intrigued by her comments on her connection, her relationship with people in White House, because with Rahm Emanuel gone, back to Chicago, she was hard-pressed, according to Politico, to come with a name of someone she works with, she doesn't seem to have a relationship with Pete Rouse, the new chief of staff. I don't know whether that's the fault of the White House or the Hill, but it does seem like there is a disconnect.

KADY: Yeah, and there's going to continue to be a disconnect here because, you know, frankly in the minority, House Democrats aren't going to have much say. The White House chief of staff, Pete Rouse, and the legislative guys, they're going be negotiating with Senate Republicans, Democrats, and they're going to be negotiating a lot on – with House Republicans, as they did on the tax bill. So I mean, you know, Nancy Pelosi will certainly get her phone calls returned by the White House, but she's not – you know, they are not going to have to bend to what she wants because they're going to be in a minority and they're probably going to lose even more seats in the next election.

MITCHELL: It's incredible, Martin, it just seems as though it were yesterday, but it's really four years ago that she was – that historic moment, taking up the gavel with all the children and grandchildren, you know, collected around her. We were anchoring from the Hill that day.

KADY: I remember.

MITCHELL: And it was such a big step. And now – how things change in politics.

KADY: I know, she's going to be handing over her gavel. They might gavel close the House tonight or tomorrow. And in a couple weeks she'll be standing there, handing that over to John Boehner, just like Denny Hastert handed it over to her just a few years ago.

MITCHELL: It's got to be painful, but she's doing it with class.

KADY: Yeah.

MITCHELL: Thank you very much, Martin Kady from Politico.         

KADY: Thank you.
                      

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC