Another leadership test for Pelosi, who's weathered many

Marie Harrington
June 26, 2017

The California Democrat has always been a bogeywoman Republicans have used to motivate their base and to woo independents as the personification of liberal values and a reminder of why even if they may like their individual member or candidate, a vote for that Democrat would be a step toward putting Pelosi back in the speaker's chair. According to CNN, Pelosi has helped the Democratic Party raise some $568 million since 2002. She is 77 and has been the face of House Democrats for more than a decade. (R-Ga.). In essence, she isn't a political newcomer and the fact that Democrats actually believed they could flip a district that has gone Republican for almost four decades purely because of Trump's actions shows how out of touch their strategy is. "She has been a great leader, but like every leader, time immemorial, it's time for people to know when to go", Rice said. She has beat back all comers, including last fall, when Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of OH ran against her. Ryan fell well short but garnered dozens of votes, enough to underscore dissatisfaction with Pelosi and with her aging leadership team that has left promising young Democrats with few places to rise.

"Usually they go after the most effective leaders because they want to diminish the opportunity that we have", Pelosi said.

So while Pelosi took heat from some party colleagues after Democrat Jon Ossoff lost his bid for a Georgia House seat, and found herself grilled hard by reporters at her weekly press conference Thursday, she will survive. "We have a lot of talent in the Democratic Party", but she pointed out that "we don't have an infrastructure in our caucus allowing more voices to be heard, and that's the problem".

About half of the estimated $60 million that poured into the race was controlled by outside groups, such as political action committees from both sides that released a deluge of attack ads.

Not only did the Democrats waste all that money, but they did so with a candidate who did not live in the district and who campaigned like a moderate Republican.

Still, Democrats would have massive gaps to fill if they were to oust Pelosi. Pelosi has led the Democratic caucus in the House since 2003, and in March said she would have retired had Hillary Clinton won the election. She was then elected and served as Georgia's secretary of state from 2007 to 2010. "The bill Republicans announced today is even worse than expected and by far the most harmful piece of legislation I have seen in my lifetime", Sanders said in a statement.

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Democratic Senator Seth Moulton has said that his party needs to rebrand itself and focus on the future. "Pelosi is the gift that keeps on giving". And contrasts between party leaders and the base that were on display throughout the Democratic presidential primary still exist.

Kathleen Rice, one of a small group who has gone public with the message that Pelosi should go, hosted a dozen Democrats in her office Thursday for an hour-long strategy session.

Republicans were jubilant Wednesday thanks to Karen Handel's win in the intensely-watched Georgia congressional special election, as well as Ralph Norman's victory in a SC special election. "I thrive on competition", she said.

While Pelosi misunderstands America, she knows politics.

That reality was the subtext for Pelosi's taunting remarks Thursday in which she cast her Democratic critics as hungry for attention rather than serious about ousting her.

"When asked, over 60 percent of voters preferred a congressman who would work with Paul Ryan, while only 28 percent chose Nancy Pelosi", CLF executive director Corry Bliss wrote in a memo on Wednesday morning.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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