House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) insisted on Thursday that the blackface and alleged sexual assault controversies engulfing the top three Democrats in Virginia will not damage the “national Democratic brand.”
In recent weeks, embattled Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) admitted that he had put on blackface while he was a medical student, Attorney General Mark Herring (D) revealed that he also put on blackface while he was a college student at the University of Virginia.
Meanwhile, a California professor accused Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax (D) of sexual assault, alleging that Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex during the 2004 Democratic National Convention. And on Friday, a day after Pelosi insisted that these scandals will not harm national Democrats, another woman, Meredith Watson, alleged that Fairfax raped her while they were students at Duke University.
When Pelosi was asked if the scandals will hurt the “national Democratic brand,” she replied, “No, it does not.”
National Democrats who are banking on defeating Trump in 2020 by doubling down on the politics of race and MeToo walked into a trap when nearly all of them jumped into Virginia’s politics and called on Northam to resign. When scandals then engulfed Fairfax and Herring, many national Democrats started dodging questions, unable to say they would not get involved in Virginia’s politics days after nearly all of them jumped in to condemn Northam.