Following the special election loss on Tuesday, Democrats are looking inward to their own caucus and asking whether new leadership is needed moving forward. One of the longest serving personalities in Democratic leadership is the House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi. From 2006 to 2010, Pelosi served as the majority leader while Democrats were in charge, but following the Tea Party wave, Democrats were swept aside in the House of Representatives and haven’t regained power ever since. Some Democrats are now calling for Pelosi’s hide.
Politico reports on the potential mutiny among House Democrats:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats put a brave face on Wednesday morning after a disappointing loss in the Georgia special election, yet there is no disguising the unhappiness in the party ranks.
There is no challenge to Pelosi’s leadership, and none is going to happen at this point, said numerous Democrats. But it’s clear frustration is growing with the longtime Democratic leader following the extensive losses Democrats have suffered over the past half-decade.
And the fact that Republicans spent millions of dollars on TV ads tying Democratic hopeful Jon Ossoff to Pelosi — and the brand of progressive policies she represents — shows that she will once again be an issue for Democratic challengers in the very districts that the party needs to win to make her speaker again.
Nancy is safe — for now. But there does seem to be major concern that having her in place could seriously hinder an effort for Democratic victory in 2018. As stated, Republicans were able to tie Jon Ossoff to Pelosi, which might have made a difference in that deep red district.
As NBC News reports, there are plenty of Democrats who are outright calling for her to step aside and let a new generation of leadership emerge:
A number of Democrats are renewing their calls for Pelosi to step aside, demanding a change to the trio of septuagenarians that have been leading the House Democratic caucus for years.
As one of his first moves after declaring his candidacy against Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), Democrat Joe Cunningham tweeted, “If elected, I will not vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker. Time to move forward and win again.”
A handful of House Democrats made similar calls on Wednesday, with Rep. Kathleen Rice of Long Island, New York, telling CNN, “We need leadership change. It’s time for Nancy Pelosi to go, and the entire leadership team.” [Emphasis added]
Rice, like others who spoke out, backed a failed challenge to Pelosi earlier this year from Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH).
“We are heading into July, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but our party still doesn’t have a clear economic message. Are you kidding me?” Ryan wrote on Medium, without mentioning Pelosi.
Last year, Ryan, a gum-chewing former football player from blue-collar Youngstown, gave the San Francisco-based Pelosi the most serious threat yet to her leadership post, but two-thirds of the caucus ended up rallying around Pelosi.
Pelosi can raise some money, sure, but the Georgia special election proved that boat loads of money alone cannot win the race. What good is $23 million for a House race if you still come up short? I don’t think there are enough items left in the “pro” column to keep Pelosi in leadership. In fact, I would think that for the good of the party, which has performed terribly in Congressional races since 2010, Pelosi would step aside and let someone else take up the reins in the Trump era.
Trump won some major Rust Belt states that have been solid Democratic strongholds, like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Having Pelosi serve as the face of the House Democrats with her ties to coastal politics is not going to help Democrats running in moderate Midwest districts. In short, the Democrats have done a lot of losing under Pelosi, and the “W” column is pretty sparse.
It’s not like all the losses are directly Pelosi’s fault, every race has it’s own metrics and variables that can’t always be controlled or accounted for (like the Scalise shooting). However, when the team is on a losing streak, more often than not, the coach takes the blame. When it comes to House races, the House leadership for the party usually feels the heat more than anyone. Peliso is currently sitting under the broiler.