Pelosi’s Strategy in Secret Ballot: Allow Her Critics to Let Off Steam – The New York Times
That will not be the approach of Ms. Pelosi, who has been working quietly behind the scenes to court skeptics and opponents by wielding a considerable arsenal of sweeteners, including her ability to dole out committee assignments, to set the legislative agenda to ensure certain policy issues are made priorities, and to select point people for high-profile efforts.
She is cognizant of the fact that many newly elected lawmakers feel that they must oppose her as a matter of political survival, given her demonization by critics as a symbol of runaway liberalism. But she has focused intently on cutting deals with incumbents to bring them over to her side.
Representative Gerald E. Connolly of Virginia, an ally of Ms. Pelosi, said Democrats had been toiling to figure out a way to allow those who felt they must oppose Ms. Pelosi for speaker to satisfy that need without leading to a damaging spectacle at the very moment that Democrats assume control of the House for the first time in eight years.