Pelosi to Receive Margaret Sanger Award — But Will It Matter?

By:  Jack Kenny
03/24/2014
       
Pelosi to Receive Margaret Sanger Award — But Will It Matter?

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will receive the Margaret Sanger Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America on March 27 at the abortion provider's annual gala event.

Not much excitement there. It will do her little good, because those aligned with Planned Parenthood and disposed to regard its founder, the eugenics advocate Sanger, as a heroine are already in Pelosi's corner. And those opposed, including pro-life Republicans and leaders of the Catholic Church, may be counted on to maintain a mysterious sphinx-like silence on the matter.

We in New Hampshire have "been there, done that."

In the year 2000, former U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey was the Republican candidate for governor of New Hampshire, looking to unseat two-term incumbent Jeanne Shaheen. It was a battle of the undefeated, as neither Humphrey nor Shaheen had ever lost either a primary or general election. Humphrey's problem was overcoming the perception that he was a political “yesterday,” a relic of New Hampshire's solidly Republican past. Humphrey was elected to the Senate in 1978, upsetting veteran Democrat Tom McIntyre with the tagline, "I want to be the toughtest skinflint in the U.S. Senate." He was reelected in the Republican landslide of 1984, then retired after two terms. In 2000 he was running statewide for the first time in 16 years. I recall remarking to him at the time that it must have been a challenge to reconnect with his old supporters.

"Yes," he said. "Especially the ones that are dead."

Shaheen, who had fashioned a "moderate" image for herself as a former state senator and two-term governor, managed to keep the focus off wedge issues like abortion, the death penalty, and gun control and on softer, "soccer mom" subjects like providing kindergarten statewide and advancing healthcare for children. Her challenge in 2000 was to portray Humphrey as not only yesterday, but as a dangerously radical yesterday. She had to convince New Hampshire voters that in the not very distant past we had twice elected to the U.S. Senate a flaming right-wing extremist. This, for Shaheen, was old hat. In Shaheen's Abridged Dictionary (SAD), "extremist" is defined as "a Republican running against Jeanne Shaheen." A "non-person,"on the other hand" is a Democrat running against Shaheen, whom she simply ignores and refuses to debate.

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Photo of Sen. Nancy Pelosi: AP Images

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