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This Golden State Podcast: For Nancy Pelosi, the Trump Resistance Starts with Medicare

The House minority leader wants Trump critics to choose their battles wisely.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi at the photo shoot for San Francisco’s February issue.

This Golden State is a podcast from veteran broadcast journalist Randy Shandobil. Click above to play.

San Francisco magazine and This Golden State podcast are collaborating on “The Resistance,” a portfolio devoted to the agitators, political leaders, and change agents who are fighting the incoming Trump administration on all fronts. San Francisco’s February issue will be devoted to the Resistance, with audio interviews conducted by veteran broadcast journalist Randy Shandobil, host of This Golden State. We’ll be posting Shandobil’s interviews online as they become available. 


Given the
incoming Trump administration’s promised assault on everything from the Affordable Care Act to sanctuary cities to minority and women’s rights to the environment, it’s hard to decide where to start (besides an unhinged wail into the darkness). House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is here to pull us back from the brink and toward something that feels like an actual strategy. In an interview with This Golden State’s Randy Shandobil, Pelosi stresses the importance of picking one’s battles. Not because all the issues listed above (and so many more) aren’t important, but because Madame Leader is well acquainted with voter attention spans. “You don’t want to dilute your impact by talking about too many things” at once, Pelosi tells Shandobil. So start off with an issue dear to almost everyone: Medicare. “That is a universal value in the country; it affects every family,” she says. “What is the place in which we can connect with the American people? And once [we’re] connecting, then have a conversation about the other issues. In resistance you have to prioritize.” 

Pelosi’s approach is more measured than the fight-or-flight instincts that kicked in post-election, but that’s in part because it’s designed to bring over even Trump voters once the election honeymoon period is over. “It’ll take a little time to get to some of them because they don’t want to be told they made a bad choice,” she says. “It’s like telling somebody their art is fake or their spouse is terrible. They made that decision, so you’re questioning their judgment. Show them a path where they can see the error of his ways and how they might want to be in another place.”

 

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