Democratic congressional candidates are revolting against Nancy Pelosi in large numbers. Her grip as the leader of the House minority is slipping and could hurt their chances in the coming midterm elections.
The list of candidates from her own party that refuse to publicly or privately endorse her has steadily risen as Democrats rack up the losing side of national elections. It is now estimated that 27 Democratic House candidates will not commit support.
NBC News published a poll that stated over 50 Democratic candidates and incumbents would not support Pelosi for speaker. That number will rise substantially should the Democrats fail to gain the 23 seats in November to flip the House.
Typical of Pelosi’s fading support is Rashida Tlaib, who just won a House Democratic primary in Michigan. She has publicly announced her opposition to Pelosi as speaker.
Speaking on CNN’s “New Day” last Thursday, Tlaib said, “Look — I think, for me, I need someone that’s connected with the different levels of poverty and the fact that there are structures and barriers, for working families in my district that need to be dismantled. And supporting big banks — and supporting efforts that I don’t think put the people first — is troubling.”
“I think that starts at the top with leadership,” Tlaib said.
The younger candidates feel the speaker’s time has come and gone. Although Pelosi is a word-class political fundraiser, many feel she has poisoned the well of good will as the Republican opposition seizes on her many speaking gaffes for political gain.
At a political rally last week in Ohio, President Trump gleefully connected Pelosi with the state’s Democratic congressional candidate Danny O’Connor running in a special House election. Her name has become synonymous with failed liberal causes and her radical San Francisco image.
The National Republican Congressional Committee has even become involved. They released an ad campaign that tied many Democratic candidates to Pelosi and her policies.
Pelosi’s tenure as speaker has become a rallying cry for all Republican candidates. It is their conduit to their base as they urge them to get out the vote. It leaves many undecided voters with the impression Pelosi will reverse the surging economy and stump for more taxes. It has presented more than a few awkward moments for Democratic candidates put in the position to support her.
Even candidate O’Connor in Ohio was cornered by Chris Matthews of MSNBC on his show. He demanded to know if O’Connor would vote to retain Pelosi as speaker.
Nervously trying to appear neutral, O’Connor replied, “We need new leadership on both sides, the old ways aren’t working,” he stressed more than once. Matthews remained relentless searching for a definitive answer that finally found O’Connor relenting, “whoever the Democrats put forward.”
It was a scene being played out by Democratic candidates throughout the country. What are the ground rules for such a question when asked? They are dammed if they do and damned if they don’t.
The liberal sensation Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has thickened the plot. She beat Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., in her primary running as a Democrat-Socialist. But even she has stumbled over the question of Pelosi’s viability.
Possibly seeing thousands of DNC campaign funds disappearing with a bad answer to the Pelosi question, Ocasio-Cortez told CNN, “She is right now you know, she is the leader of ... I mean, um speaker, rather leader Pelosi hopefully, you know, we’ll see.”
Not the most ardent show of support one could imagine, but it got even more difficult. Stammering for words, Ocasio-Cortez added, “She’s the current leader of the party and I think that the party absolutely does have its leadership in the House, we have our leadership in the Senate as well.”
She added, “I've got to win my race first. We've got to look at winning the House back in November and then once the House is won, we have to make that decision from there.”
Other Democratic candidates coming down on Pelosi’s tenure are Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., Rep Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., and newly elected Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., among others.
Pelosi is not going down without a fight. She claims some of the calls for her ouster are sexist. There is a double standard involved with her situation.
Showing her Joe Biden ability at public gaffes, she said, “I think some of it is a little bit on the sexist side, although I wouldn’t normally say that,” Pelosi said in the interview. “Except it’s like, really? Has anyone asked whatshisname, the one who’s the head of the Senate?”
She was referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who she is very familiar with. An aide whispered “whatshisname” correct name into her ear discreetly.
Dwight L. Schwab, Jr. is an award-winning national political and foreign affairs columnist and published author. He has spent over 35 years in the publishing industry. His long-running articles include many years at Examiner.com and currently Newsblaze.com. Dwight is an author of two highly acclaimed books, "Redistribution of Common Sense - Selected Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014" and "The Game Changer - America's Most Stunning Election in History." He is a native of Portland, Oregon, a journalism graduate from the University of Oregon, and a resident of the SF Bay Area. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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