‘Unforced error’: Progressives slam Nancy Pelosi’s freezer faux pas in scathing memo
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s misstep earlier this year of flaunting her premium Jeni’s ice cream stockpile in her $24,000 refrigerator while millions of unemployed Americans lined up at food banks during the coronavirus shutdowns is coming back to haunt her yet again. The progressive millionaire is being slammed by Democrats in their post-mortem on the 2020 election in determining why a blue wave never materialized.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will now have to navigate between rival factions of the Democratic Party – progressives and moderates – with a narrow and divided majority that will be in jeopardy in 2022.
“When Democratic leaders make unforced errors like showing off two sub-zero freezers full of ice cream on national television or cozy up with Wall Street executives and corporate lobbyists while Trump tells voters we are the party of the swamp, it is not surprising that we lose,” reads a memo which was sent by progressive groups including Justice Democrats and the Sunrise Movement.
“The economy was voters’ top concern in this election,” the memo stated. “We need a new generation of leadership grounded in a multiracial, working-class experience and background.”
The memo was released after Democrats performed well below the party’s expectation on election night. The more moderate wing of the party is blaming progressives for a tough go during this election season.
Democrats in the United States House of Representatives, while managing to barely hold on to a majority, suffered serious defeats in the 2020 election, and infighting ensued.
Democrats, who held a 35-seat advantage in the House, will see their majority nearly evaporate, losing 10 to 15 seats as Republicans defied pre-election polls.
Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), who chaired the Democratic Campaign Congressional Committee, said she was stepping down after the party lost seats.
“It feels like a small but important number of voters who didn’t like Trump and voted for Biden also didn’t want to give control of Congress to Democrats,” said Kyle Kondik, a political analyst at the University of Virginia.
“The Republicans did a lot better than most people expected,” Kondik told Al Jazeera.
Last April, Pelosi did an interview with CBS’ “Late Late Show” with James Corden and showed off candy and a freezer full of ice cream while the nation was on lockdown. Pelosi told Corden she was devouring chocolate ice cream and candy “as much as possible,” during isolation and she showed off a collection of Jeni’s ice cream in her freezer drawer.
A single pint goes for $13, while a six-pack, such as “emergency chocolate stash,” is slightly cheaper when bought in a $68 case of six.
Pelosi could also be seen to have Dove and Talenti brand treats stockpiled.
“I don’t know what I would have done if ice cream had not been invented,” she mused.
The clip was perfect ammunition for Republicans and they made great use of it.
The Trump campaign proceeded to make an ad that highlighted Pelosi’s appearance by portraying her as elitist by juxtaposing Pelosi showing her freezer full of ice cream with headlines that Americans were waiting for “hours” at food banks.
The commercial ended with a spoof quote, playing off of one attributed to Marie Antoinette:
“Let them eat ice cream,” the quote reads, before citing “Nancy Antoinette.”
Liberal journalist Glenn Greenwald at the time shredded Pelosi: “Her two huge refrigerators by themselves cost more than many people make in a year. It’s so revealing that the politician Dems adore most is one of the richest members of Congress. Pelosi has been so rich for so long that she can’t see how tone-deaf this is.”
The Trump campaign’s rapid response director Steve Guest also highlighted the clip at the time pointing out that Pelosi was “eating $13-a-pint ice cream out of her $24,000 fridge.”
“The Paycheck Protection Program ran out of money this morning because Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi, blocked the necessary $250 billion replenishment for the program that Congressional Republicans tried to deliver,” the Republican National Committee added.
“Now ‘Nancy Antoinette’ has to explain to America why she chose to show off her luxury refrigerators and $13-dollar a pint ice cream collection from her chateau in San Francisco instead of funding the Paycheck Protection Program which has served millions of jobs all across the country.”
Biden stated on Twitter: “You have great taste, Speaker Pelosi.”
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 14, 2020