Commentary Magazine


Pelosi Hits Wrong Notes at AIPAC

Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s speech at AIPAC tonight was as tough as it gets coming from her: she rejected containment of Iran’s nuclear program, reiterated that a nuclear Iran is a threat to the world, and praised the latest round of “crippling sanctions” on Iran. But her comments about Iran “returning to the negotiating table” because of these sanctions seemed Pollyannaish, and coming on the heels of Senator McConnell’s barnburner, the speech seemed like a snooze.

“We’re seeing results.  The Iranian economy and energy industry are suffering. Iran’s partners are cutting off ties of trade and commerce,” said Pelosi. “We are undermining the funding of Iran’s nuclear activities. In short, Iran is feeling the bite of our sanctions. Our actions reaffirm our message–it is time for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, return to the negotiating table, and abandon its reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

While she said the bare minimum that she could on Iran, the rest of her speech was filled with typical, generic AIPAC applause lines.

“We were reminded that Israel and the Jewish people remain a symbol of democracy–that we must continue to fight for the day when Israel’s existence is a fact recognized by every nation on Earth,” said Pelosi.  “And, founded on our shared values and shared vision, we pledge to work to usher in an era when Israel can realize, in the spirit of its national anthem, the hope to be a free people, living in peace and security in the Jewish homeland.”

It was nice, and the audience was polite throughout. But AIPAC attendees were clearly looking for a bolder message, and Pelosi did not deliver.