Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Pelosi defends leadership following special election loss

The Latest: Pelosi tries to reassure Dems after Georgia loss GOP struggles with a budget mess -- even a shutdown -- in months ahead
Lillian Steele | 26 June, 2017, 02:08

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.

The main argument against Pelosi from her Democratic detractors is that more than 30 years in Washington and hundreds of millions of dollars in attack ads against her have taken their toll when it comes to public opinion. I am a strategic, politically astute leader. Pelosi has helped engineer budget deals, an overhaul of the nation's health care law and an economic stimulus during her years as a leader. 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.

On "The Five" tonight, Jesse Watters said Pelosi fundamentally doesn't understand America or Americans.

In over a decade leading House Democrats, into the majority and out again, Pelosi has beaten 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.

Drew Hammill, a Pelosi spokesman, said she's done more than just raise money and that Pelosi is "without rival" as a legislative tactician.

There are, though, reasons to believe Pelosi poses a unique political problem for Democrats. His 2015-16 giving was well behind Pelosi past year, at $592,500. "But it looks like for every new Democrat who turned out to vote, there was a new Republican who showed up and voted". Which was fine by the Democrats who thought they were going to pounce and pick one off.

But some rank-and-file House Democrats scoffed at such explanations and raised questions about Pelosi's continued leadership.

"I think the honest answer is in some areas of the country, yes, she is", Ryan said about the toxicity of the House Minority Leader.

She was elected to Congress in a special 1987 election.

Some Democrats, though, have wanted her out, particularly after the party was unable to win back control in 2016, a year when the party was seen as having a decent chance of doing so.

Rice's criticisms have been joined by a couple other Democrats. Iacobelli said she would be open to supporting other Democratic candidates, but wants them to be more independent and more compelling. "Pelosi is the gift that keeps on giving". My understanding is that Ossoff was in the margin of error with Handel before the shooting - one point behind, at most - but that a few thousand more Republicans ended up voting because of it. Ultimately, Pelosi still got support from about two-thirds of the caucus, though the 63 votes Ryan garnered were the most serious defection Pelosi has ever faced. Later Wednesday, Moulton announced his support for eight veterans challenging Republicans in House races.

"In the districts where we are truly competitive, I don't think that [anti-Pelosi] message is going to hold very much", said Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif. We don't know who sent them; the message, which attacked the "bourgeoisie", struck some observers as a possible dirty trick.

Pelosi "consistently polls very unfavorably", said John Rogers, the executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee - the House GOP's campaign arm. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY and other Democratic leaders began a series of procedural requests to slow down consideration of the legislation, a discussion draft of which posted shortly before the Senate convened.

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