(CNN) - The House has just adjourned - a week early -to go home so Democrats can run for their political lives. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, ardent as ever, calls in a group of journalists to make her pitch about the productive Congress - and begins with a list of achievements (health care, Wall Street reform, stimulus, small business jobs act).
"I'm so proud of it," she says, sounding like a parent examining a brilliant report card, beaming.
But near the end of the session, the tough, pragmatic Pelosi - the one who has the uphill battle to keep her speakership, the one Republicans boast they want to "fire" - let something slip through her relentlessly upbeat analysis. The unemployment rate, she admits, is a tough reality - and manna for the Republicans.