Political leaders often pay too much attention to how much they are liked.
In fact, when presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was challenged about Barack Obama's personal popularity at a debate last year, we suggested she should eschew any desire to be liked. A real leader does things that are sometimes unpopular.
At the same time, it may be instructive for a politician to know why he or she isn't liked.
If it's for good reasons, then there's a serious problem. And it would be folly for the politician to ignore it.
Except if you're Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi is trusted by a paltry 24 percent of the U.S. population -- and we're not sure what that 24 percent is thinking.
"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is one of the most despised political figures in the country," bluntly writes Politico.com's Glenn Thrush.
"I don't care," she replies.
The truth is, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives -- third in line to the presidency, head of the House -- is a left-wing extremist who is attempting to foist her values on the whole of the country.
Even House Democrats are rebelling against it, bitterly fighting her attempts to railroad the House into supporting a hasty and dangerous overhaul of the entire U.S. health care industry. They want to wait, to study the issue, to actually read the bill they vote on. Pelosi insists on doing it now and getting her way, no matter what it does to the country.
Democratic consultant Dan Gerstein writes in a recent article for Forbes magazine ("Get rid of Pelosi," July 22) that Pelosi's "hyper" partisanship is actually toxic to the post-partisan vision Barack Obama sold in his presidential campaign.
Nancy Pelosi is despised for very good reasons.
"On Pelosi's watch," writes Gerstein, "Congress screwed up the president's stimulus plan, botched the oversight of the bailouts, rammed through a jerry-rigged, special interest-driven climate-change bill and is now sabotaging the president's top policy priority by producing health care bills that won't reduce health care costs. The level of partisan hostility in the House is arguably worse than any time in the last 20 years."
We don't agree with Gerstein on one point. We think Pelosi should stay right where she is.
The more she does, the more popular conservatism gets!