Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Nancy Pelosi heckled at leftist Campaign for America's Future Conference

At a conference of America's Future Now this morning, Nancy Pelosi received a less than warm welcome when she tried to deliver her prepared speech:

The YouTube caption identifies the hecklers as members of Code Pink, but The Washington Post reports they were from the group ADAPT:
Raucous demonstrators greeted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at a gathering of progressive activists in Washington on Tuesday morning, forcing her to yell her 28-minute policy speech over their loud and uninterrupted protests.

It was a bizarre scene at the America's Future Now conference, as protesters screamed just a few feet away from the speaker's stage. At first, Pelosi paused and appeared rattled, apparently trying to discern what the protesters were chanting. But minutes later, surrounded on stage by her security detail, Pelosi pressed ahead.

"I'm not going to leave," Pelosi said to the audience of several hundred leaders of the progressive movement. "I'm going to deliver my speech. . . . I am going to make my speech over your voices."

The protesters, wearing orange shirts and chanting "Our homes, not nursing homes," did not let up until Pelosi finished her address and left the stage with security guards. The protesters said they were members of ADAPT, an activist group that advocates for disability rights and is fighting for passage of the Community Choice Act. The bill was introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) in 2009 but has not advanced out of the Finance Committee. In the House, a similar measure remains in the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The act would allow those who are eligible for care in a nursing home to instead receive similar care in their own homes through community-assisted living.
As the President kicks off his $125 million health care PR campaign today with events around the country, I don't think this is the adoring coverage and imagery he had in mind.
The Huffington Post tries to make lemonade out of this lemon:
In response to the unexpected and prolonged disruption, Pelosi held her ground and shot back at the demonstrators that she wasn't going to cut her speech short or leave the stage.

"I'm not going to leave, I'm going to deliver my speech," the House Speaker said, later quipping, "Listen I'm used to noise, I talk to the Democratic Caucus everyday."

Despite breaking briefly to address the disruption, the House Speaker reportedly delivered her speech in its entirety in a graceful manner.
Turns out Code Pink was there, but not to protest the health care law:
A bizarre scene at the America’s Future Now conference. Two protests have interrupted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s speech, but she continued on above the very vocal protests as the crowd alternately cheered and shushed.

Code Pink held up a large banner reading “Stop Funding Israel Terror,” but they remained mostly silent.
The Star Wars Cantina scene comes to mind.

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