Political News

How Nancy Pelosi broke Donald Trump

Posted January 25, 2019 7:31 p.m. EST

— There's no spinning what happened in Washington on Friday: Donald Trump caved to Nancy Pelosi -- and a compromise to reopen the government was struck.

The bigger question is how. How, after 3+ years of Trump running roughshod on the political process, did Pelosi, the newly installed speaker of the House, beat him at his own game?

The answer is remarkably simple: She said "no." And stuck to it.

Pelosi, from the start, insisted that neither she nor any Democrats would cooperate with any negotiation that sought to leverage a government shutdown for Trump to try to secure the $5.7 billion he wanted for a border wall.

The key to saying something so definitive is a) sticking to it and b) enforcing it. There was never a peep from any House Democrat that they should make concessions on the wall to Trump. Not any meaningful dissent. For 35 days of a shutdown.

In the midst of that, Pelosi out-Trumped Trump on his State of the Union speech, too. She said postpone it. He said "no" and dared her to deny him the chance. She did just that.

The Point: What Pelosi seems to understand better than past Trump political opponents is that giving ANY ground is a mistake. You have to not only stand firm, but be willing to go beyond all political norms -- like canceling the SOTU -- to win. Which is what Pelosi did this week. Twice.

And now, the week in 26 headlines:

Monday:

After Buzzfeed article, Trump team reached out to Mueller's officeTrump makes unannounced visit to MLK memorialGiuliani tries to clean up comments about Trump Tower Moscow

Tuesday:

Supreme Court allows transgender military ban to go into effectSources say Trump's not angry at Giuliani: 'Rudy's not getting fired'White House expresses 'support' for Covington Catholic studentsState Department cancels border security conference due to shutdown over border securityKudlow says 'no cancellation' of US-China trade meetingDOJ plans to ask Supreme Court to hear census case this term 

Wednesday:

WH adviser says there could be zero growth if shutdown lingersTrump recognizes opposition leader as Venezuelan presidentCohen's House testimony postponed, citing 'threats'Trump says he won't give SOTU during shutdown White House confirms President Trump sent letter to Kim Jong Un

Thursday:

Ross doesn't 'quite understand' why furloughed workers are going to homeless shelters to get foodMichael Cohen subpoenaed by Senate Intelligence committeeTrump seeks 'down payment on the wall'US orders non-emergency personnel out of VenezuelaWH preparing draft emergency order, identified $7 billion for wall

Friday:

Paul Manafort appears in court after 3-month absenceMueller indicts Roger StoneSanders says Stone indictment has nothing to do with TrumpFlight delays pile pressure on Trump amid shutdownStone vows to fight Mueller chargesTrump to temporarily end shutdown -- without wall funding