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Politicizing Nancy Pelosi's ice cream is a fridge too far

By Clarence Page, Tribune Content Agency on

Let's be honest about ice cream.

Yes, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi let her guard down when she showed off her ice cream collection and well-stocked royalty-class refrigerator on national television.

After all, it's a presidential election year and she holds the most powerful office of any Democrat in Washington. So, faster than you can say "Nancy Antoinette," President Donald Trump's reelection campaign put up recent TV ads branding her as just that.

Taking off on the legend that Marie Antoinette, bride of France's King Louis XVI, supposedly responded "Let them eat cake" to the news that the peasants needed bread, the Trump campaign ad attacked her for blocking coronavirus aid.

Lifting footage from her recent interview by CBS "Late Late Show" host James Corden in her kitchen, the ad juxtaposes happy footage of her showing off her favorite ice creams in her very expensive freezer with very sad footage of poor Americans struggling to get food to put in their own refrigerators.

The ad offers a textbook example of how images can be used in ads to provoke an emotional response based on distorted reality -- and Republicans ran with it.

 

Her Republican counterpart and fellow Californian, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, slammed her for supposedly being more interested in her frozen desserts than in moving funds to replenish the Small Business Administration fund for loans to businesses shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic. "The only problem here is Democrats are denying the ability for small businesses to get their loans from the SBA to pay their employees," McCarthy told Fox News' "Bill Hemmer Reports."

"I only have one refrigerator," Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted sarcastically about Pelosi's double-wide kitchen behemoth. "I will give you all the ice cream I have, Madam Speaker, if you fund small business and stop holding it hostage."

California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes cried foul, assuring us that no leading Republican would be able to get away with, well, owning lots of ice cream in a "$24,000 freezer?" Yes. "We would boot (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell or McCarthy out of leadership just like that," he said, and accused the media of giving Pelosi a free pass.

Well, over in the media sector occupied by "The View," panelist Meghan McCain criticized Pelosi for falling into a media trap. "In this specific moment (during the pandemic), optics are narratives," she said. "I don't make the rules of politics, this is just how it works."

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(c) 2020 CLARENCE PAGE DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.
 

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