There’s no better illustration of how ecstatic Democrats are about Newt Gingrich leading the GOP primary pack than Nancy Pelosi’s strategic silence.
Pelosi knows more about Gingrich than perhaps any other major national political figure. She was a senior Democrat when Gingrich was House Speaker, served on the ethics committee that investigated Gingrich for tax cheating and campaign finance violations, and even cut a 2008 ad with him on the importance of addressing global climate change.
But when TPM asked her to talk a bit about his recent ascent and the possibility that he’ll be the GOP nominee, she mostly demurred.
“I like Barney Frank’s quote the best, where he said ‘I never thought I’d live such a good life that I would see Newt Gingrich be the nominee of the Republican party,’” Pelosi said in an exclusive interview Friday. “That quote I think spoke for a lot of us.”
Pelosi didn’t go into detail about Gingrich’s past transgressions, but she tipped her hand. “One of these days we’ll have a conversation about Newt Gingrich,” Pelosi said. “I know a lot about him. I served on the investigative committee that investigated him, four of us locked in a room in an undisclosed location for a year. A thousand pages of his stuff.”
Pressed for more detail she wouldn’t go further.
“Not right here,” Pelosi joked. “When the time’s right.”
Which is to say that if Gingrich somehow clinches the nomination, there’s one hell of an oppo dump coming.
Update: Gingrich responds, thanking Pelosi for the “early Christmas gift.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at email@example.com.