On the same day California voters finally go to the polls for the primary there, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination over Bernie Sanders. The Associated Press said last night that it believes Clinton already has the delegates needed to be the presumptive nominee.
Pelosi said that she already voted for Clinton, but still told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that “it’s not over until it’s over.”
“Well I’m a voter in California and I have voted for Hillary Clinton for president of the United States and proud to endorse her for that position,” Pelosi said this morning. “But I hasten to say that it’s not over ’til it’s over. Californians haven’t voted, nor have others in five states. So while the nomination may be there in the numbers in terms of superdelegates, I didn’t endorse yet because I am a superdelegate and I think that the matter should be determined by the voters in the state.”
Here’s a look at Pelosi and Clinton’s relationship.
1. Did Not Endorse Obama or Clinton in 2008
Pelosi, who was House Speaker at the time, did not endorse Clinton or Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic primary. However, as the Washington Post points out, Pelosi was trying to get superdelegates to vote like their voters did, which would lead to an Obama win. Ironically, Sanders is the one now trying to get superdelegates to support him, even though Clinton has received the most votes from voters.
At that time, Pelosi said that if superdelegates didn’t vote the way their voters did, it would hurt the party.
2. Pelosi Thought Clinton Would Win 2016… in 2013
After the 2008 campaign, Clinton and Pelosi’s relationship cooled off and Pelosi began talking up a Clinton run for the White House. However, she still balked at outright endorsing her. In a 2013 interview with USA Today though, she said she thinks Clintin will win in 2016.
If Secretary Clinton were to run — and we think if she ran, she would win — I believe that she would be the best-prepared person to enter the White House in decades, in decades…with all due respect to her husband, present company and other presidents.
Pelosi also said that Clinton is “prepared” and “highly respected.” “She knows she could do the job very, very well,” she added.
In a 2013 appearance at the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, Pelosi said she “prays” that Clinton will run.
3. Pelosi Doesn’t Think Clinton’s Iraq War Vote Disqualifies Her
While serving in the Senate, Clinton voted for the Iraq War in 2003. In a 2015 interview with RealClear Politics, Pelosi said she didn’t think that vote disqualified Clinton for the presidency. Pelosi said that Clinton made her vote based on what she knew and she did not have all the information Pelosi had access to as the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee at the time.
A war vote is a vote that everybody makes on the basis of what think know, what they believe, who they trust. There’s large number of people who supported the war. The consequences have been terrible in terms of what it meant to our veterans and the rest of
that, but no. the answer is no. I don’t think it should disqualify her.
In that same interview, Pelosi once again stressed how she believes Clinton is qualified to be president.
Again, Hillary Clinton has been a strong — she comes to this, yes, as a woman. That happens to be that she’s a woman. She’s so qualified. She has had great national security experience as a member of the armed services committee and secretary of state.
4. Pelosi Doesn’t Think Clinton Did Anything Wrong With Emails
During a September 2015 press conference, Pelosi said that Clinton was right to apologize for using a private email server as Secretary of State. However, as Politico notes, the California Democrat doesn’t think Clinton did anything wrong.
I have confidence in the integrity of Hillary Clinton. She has decided to take the tact she has on the emails. I’ve always thought that she would have never sent or received any email that would be top secret or confidential. I never doubted her on that.
In a March 2015 press conference, Pelosi suggested that the real reason why Republicans are going after Clinton wasn’t just because of emails.
I have a concern — I have a concern that this isn’t really about emails. It’s about a partisan investigation by a select committee that has spent millions of dollars [and] produced nothing. And I think we’re going to just see the ongoing attempt to investigate Hillary Clinton, whatever the subject, whether it’s her emails or it’s her hair or whatever it happens to be.
5. Pelosi Came Really Close to Endorsing Clinton Before
For months, Pelosi has been steadily marching towards endorsing Clinton. In April, Pelosi said Clinton will “be a great candidate for president.” She added:
When she wins and goes into the Oval Office, she’ll be one of the best prepared people [in my lifetime] to serve in that office. She has knowledge of judgment; she has a vision for our country; she knows how to get a job done; and she’s just so appealing to so many in our country — there’s great enthusiasm for her candidacy.
In a December 2015 Time interview, Pelosi suggested that not everyone knows how important it would be to have the first female president.
I will say this that I’m not sure every body has the fullest appreciation of what it would mean to have a woman as our candidate for president who is so qualified to be president… We want to elect the best possible person; she happens to be a woman. What that confidence inspires in people is immeasurable.