Nancy Pelosi is going to beat your head in with a baseball bat. Or at least, that's what North Carolina Republican House candidate Harold Johnson says in one of his ads, adding, “If you're a small-business owner, you put your helmet on.” But hey, it could be worse. In a recent Pennsylvania ad, Pelosi becomes a 50-foot monster crushing entire houses underfoot. The speaker has, in other words, become the rallying point/boogeyman for Republicans across the country, the Washington Post reports.
“If you go to almost any grass-roots event and you mention the speaker's name, you will get a huge response from the audience,” says one Republican—she is, in some ways, even more reviled than Obama. Most speakers don't generate that kind of venom—the last who did, Newt Gingrich, says it's no picnic. “It can become really demoralizing for your side,” he says. It “weakens her in her own caucus, as it certainly weakened me.”