Nancy Pelosi’s election optimism brings to mind another optimistic fellow: Baghdad Bob

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Most political handicappers this election cycle are predicting that the Republicans will make large enough gains in the House of Representatives to take the majority.

But despite a myriad of pollsters hypothesizing that Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could lose her coveted gavel, Pelosi has adopted a stiff jawed mien of denial that some have compared to Mohammed Saïd al-Sahaf, Saddam Hussein’s information minister during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

As American tanks raided Baghdad in 2003, Baghdad Bob, as al-Sahaf became better known, asserted that the city was entirely untouched by coalition forces. The world laughed at the absurdity of his claims as they heard his rhetoric but watched U.S. tanks roll into the city on their television sets.

“The soldiers of Saddam Hussein have given them a lesson they will never forget,” he claimed. “We will in fact encourage them to commit more suicides. We have given them death and poison…These mercenaries, I swear by God, those who are still in Washington, they have sent their troops to be burned.”


Much like Baghdad Bob, Pelosi has expressed nothing but optimism and confidence about her party’s electoral prospects, even as the vast majority of polls are pointing to an election night slaughter for the Democrats.

The Rasmussen Reports recent congressional generic ballot shows Republicans leading Democrats 48 percent to 39 percent.

The Associated Press congressional generic ballot poll shows Republicans leading Democrats 50 percent to 43 percent.

The Pew Research congressional generic ballot shows Republicans leading Democrats 50 percent to 40 percent.

Despite such poll results, Pelosi has taken to the airwaves with nothing but smiling confidence. “Well let me say why I believe that [it] would be very difficult for the Republicans to take over the House of Representatives. Let me tell you right here and now that I would rather be in our position right now than theirs,” Pelosi told Charlie Rose on Wednesday.

Dire predictions for Democrats by famed political prognosticators has not put a damper on Pelosi’s fiesta either.

According to director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, Larry Sabato, if the election were held today Republicans would win 47 seats.

Political analyst Charlie Cook is also predicting the House will flip. “Eight Senate and 52 House seats are the over and under, with a 50 percent chance that Republican gains will be higher and a 50 percent chance that they will be lower,” he predicted in a National Journal article.

Democratic pollster Doug Schoen has predicted that Republicans could win as many as 60 seats.

In order to gain control of the House, Republicans need to win at least 39 seats.

Still, Pelosi continues to project confidence in the face of what appears to be a coming Republican tsunami.

“The momentum is with us,” Pelosi told Robert Siegel on NPR’s All Things Considered in September. “We are out there to dispel many of the misrepresentations that have been going out there for nearly two years by the Republicans and the special interests, the oil industry, the health insurance industry, the banks and their allies.”

Indeed, the expectation of drastic Democrat losses is so pervasive that The Onion sarcastically declared  Tuesday that the Democrats could loose 8,000 seats.

But it is doubtful that Pelosi reads The Onion.
“I’m not nervous at all,” Pelosi told Christian Amanpour in August. “I never take anything for granted. And our agenda now is … we’re not going back to the failed policies of the Bush administration. We’re going forward.”

Sabato told The Daily Caller that one reason for Pelosi’s confidence could be that she knows something the rest of the country does not. “Pelosi has lots of inside information and poll tracks,” he wrote in an e-mail. “She may be right, and the rest of us wrong. One day there is going to be another ‘Dewey Defeats Truman,’ and people in my profession will have omelet all over their face.”

Sabato went on to say that it is important for any leader to maintain confidence in their side’s abilities.

“[I]f you can’t convince yourself your team can win, they’ll be doomed and might as well leave the playing field,” he said. “The coach is the last one to give in.”

We are just two weeks away from determining whether Pelosi’s optimistic assertions will turn out similarly to those of Baghdad’s most infamous Bob.