California Rep. Nancy Pelosi disparagingly referred to President Obama as “the junior senator from Illinois” during a meeting with wealthy Democratic donors just after the party was trounced in 2010’s mid-term elections, according to an email that Sidney Blumenthal sent to then Sec. of State Hillary Clinton.
“When I go to the White House I feel like I’m dealing with the junior senator from Illinois,” is what Blumenthal claimed Pelosi told a group of people gathered at the Democracy Alliance’s annual meeting, held in mid-Nov. 2010.
The email was contained in the batch of records released by the State Department on Friday.
Blumenthal added his commentary to a Huffington Post article he forwarded to Clinton which reported that billionaire progressive donor George Soros’ had also slammed Obama at the progressive powwow.
“If this president can’t do what we need, it is time to start looking somewhere else,” Soros reportedly told the Democracy Alliance. Just weeks before, Democrats had just suffered a major defeat at the polls, losing six Senate seats and 63 House seats to the GOP.
While Soros had reason to criticize Obama — he is one of the Democrats’ most prolific donors — Pelosi perhaps had stronger grounds to complain.
The Republican rout ceded control of the House to the GOP. And that forced Pelosi to hand her House Speaker title over to Ohio Rep. John Boehner.
The Messina referenced in the Blumenthal email is Jim Messina, who then served as Obama’s deputy chief of staff. Goulsbee is Austan Goolsbee, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors at the time.
A search of news articles published at that time returned no other reports of Pelosi’s Obama criticism, so there is no way to corroborate Blumenthal’s claim.The former Bill Clinton White House aide frequently emailed Clinton gossip, rumors and intelligence reports gleaned from his vast network of sources. But his rumor-spreading infamously won him the ire of the Obama administration. He was blocked in the early days of Clinton’s State Department tenure from getting a job at the agency because of rumors he spread about Obama during the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries.
Other information he passed to Clinton has proved to be inaccurate as well. Nevertheless, Clinton frequently solicited him for information, insight, and advice, her emails show.