Pelosi Makes Herself a Campaign Issue as She Thinks Democrats Will Win the House and Make Her Speaker
Democrats have even turned against her.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) presented the GOP a gold wrapped present on a silver platter when she told The Boston Globe she’s not going anywhere and wants the Speaker job back:
“We will win. I will run for speaker. I feel confident about it. And my members do, too,” Pelosi told a meeting of Globe reporters and editors. She was in Boston for a Democratic fund-raiser hosted by Representative Katherine Clark.
Pelosi, a 30-year veteran of the House from California, said her role as the most senior female Democrat in Washington is even more vital following Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss, which left the top jobs in Washington in control of men.
“It’s important that it not be five white guys at the table, no offense,” Pelosi said, referring to the top two leadership spots in the House and Senate and the presidency. “I have no intention of walking away from that table.”
The Denver Post pointed out that “[N]o minority leader has presided over four losing elections and then become speaker.” The last time a minority leader returned as Speaker was in 1954.
A poll from The Wall Street Journal/NBC News in March “found 21 percent of adults have a positive view of her, while 43 percent view her negatively.” It’s also not uncommon to find her unfavorable rating “about 20 percentage points higher than her favorable ratings in surveys that have measured her standing over the past five years.”
Not only that, but members of her own party have vented frustrations about her.
Democrats Turning Against Pelosi
In fact, Democrats who are trying to flip Republican districts have distanced themselves from her. Dan Kohl, the nephew of former Senator Herb Kohl, wants to change Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District to blue and has disavowed Pelosi. From Fox6Now:
“If I’m elected to Congress, I would not vote for Nancy Pelosi as leader of the Democrats,” Kohl said in an interview inside his Grafton campaign office. “It’s time for a new generation of leadership in Washington. We’ve seen a change of leadership coming on the Republican side. Now I think it’s important that we see the same kind of change on the Democratic side as well.”
Last month, The Post and Courier interviewed 21 Democrats in South Carolina who are running for Congress. None of them, not a single one, “would commit to supporting Pelosi if they were elected.” Most clarified their statements and said they wouldn’t “necessarily oppose” her as it would depend on her opponent:
Annabelle Robertson, who is running against Sean Carrigan in the Democratic primary to challenge U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-Springdale, said Democrats should not dismiss Pelosi’s contributions to the party.
“Nancy Pelosi has made historic strides for women and that is important to remember,” Robertson said, though she would not unequivocally commit to voting for her.
Archie Parnell, who is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman in a rematch of last year’s surprisingly close special election, pointed to Pelosi’s comment about how the the GOP tax cuts would amount to “crumbs” for many Americans as an example of a damaging moment for red-state Democratic candidates.
“I like Nancy Pelosi a lot,” said Eric Graben, a former Greenville County Democratic Party chairman who is one of five Democrats running to replace U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy in the conservative Upstate.
“But practically everybody on the other side of the aisle really dislikes her,” he added, “and we might be better off if we had new leadership in both parties and didn’t have leaders who have such a history of acrimony against each other.”
Democrat Andrew Janz, a challenger against Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), told NBC News he doesn’t want Pelosi:
“I’m not supporting Nancy Pelosi,” Democrat Andrew Janz, who is running against Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told NBC News in a recent interview.
“I think she’s done a lot of good for the party; I think she’s done a lot of good for the country,” he added. “However, I think it’s time for a new generation of leaders to go to Washington, and this is with respect to both Democrats and Republicans. I think the country, and my district in particular, is hungry for change.”
The Mercury News found two Democrats out of the 34 running in California support Pelosi if they win an election. TWO IN HER HOME STATE. The rest want to move on:
On the other side, Doug Applegate, a retired marine colonel running in the 49th district, said at a debate earlier this year that he wouldn’t vote for her. “We can do better,” he said. “We need to move in a different direction.”
Omar Siddiqui, an FBI advisor running against Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in the 48th district, also opposes Pelosi for leader. “He thinks she should step down to give a new generation of Democrats the chance to lead, in terms of people of color and younger people,” said Luis Aleman, Siddiqui’s campaign manager.
Fuel for Republicans
Of course the Republicans have used Pelosi’s ambition to fuel their fire to keep control of the house. Vice President Mike Pence has invoked her a few times at fundraisers. From NBC News:
“The Democrats want to take us back in another direction. Nancy Pelosi — I was there the last time she was speaker. I’m telling you, you don’t want to see that happen again,” Pence said, according to a person in the room.
“That was when they got Obamacare,” continued Pence, who served in Congress from 2001 to 2013. “They thought you grow an American economy by raising taxes and expanding regulation. They want to bring it all back.”
Pence brought up Pelosi in Milwaukee in April:
Republicans have long played Pelosi’s unpopularity to their advantage by tying Democratic candidates to her. When Vice President Mike Pence was in Milwaukee last week, he made sure to mention her name.
“The person who wants to be speaker of the House again, Nancy Pelosi,” Pence said during a speech touting the tax overhaul, the crowd cutting him off mid-sentence with a chorus of boos for Pelosi.
Jesse Hunt, spokesman for the RNC, said Pelosi will take a center spot “in every competitive race in 2018.” Bloomberg reported that she “has been pictured or mentioned more than three times as often in broadcast television campaign spots for federal office when compared to the same point in the last midterm campaign four years ago.”
They offered this graphic:
I found a few ads that feature Pelosi.DONATE
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