How Pelosi battle reflects Democratic frustration over leadership 'bottleneck'

Nov 21, 2018, 01:47
How Pelosi battle reflects Democratic frustration over leadership 'bottleneck'

Pelosi continues to project confidence that she has the votes to be elected speaker and she is still running unchallenged, though Rep. Marcia Fudge of OH has said she is considering entering the race.

"Would-be challengers are keenly aware of the enormous power Ms. Pelosi wields, and fearful of institutional retribution and reputational damage if they step forward to test the status quo", the Times reported.

In the letter, the dissident Democrats praised Pelosi as a "historic figure" with major accomplishments.

With the Democrats holding 232 seats, Pelosi can't afford to lose many votes and still hold the 218 needed to become speaker, presuming all Republicans oppose her. She has more recently become a punching bag for Republicans, despite having a record of bipartisan legislative achievement.

Yes, I think wasn't it Ronald Reagan who said Orange County is where good Republicans go to die?

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"Our majority came on the backs of candidates who said that they would support new leadership because voters in hard-won districts, and across the country want to see real change in Washington", it continued. Opponents said Monday that they are convinced that it is time to select a new leader. Two of them, Anthony Brindisi in NY and Ben McAdams in Utah, are in races that have not yet been called by The Associated Press. One of the letter-signers may not even make it to Congress - Democrat Ben McAdams now trails Rep. Mia Love in a too-close-to-call race in Utah. That allows for wiggle room for some opponents to vote present or skip the vote - and thus keeping their promise to constituents not to support Pelosi, but clearing the way for her to take the gavel anyway. The aide said it was a failing strategy to try to persuade Pelosi to give up her candidacy for another term as speaker.

Democrats Brian Higgins of upstate NY and Kathleen Rice of Long Island were among those who signed the letter.

"We promised to change the status quo, and we intend to deliver on that promise", they wrote.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi stands behind President Barack Obama as he signs the Affordable Care Act, March 23, 2010.

There are other Democrats who have also signaled strong opposition to Pelosi.

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Pelosi ally Jan Schakowsky of IL says she understands the freshmen's nervousness. She's likely to overcome such a threshold, depending on how large the Democratic majority shakes out to be.

She told The Morning Call that she does not want to see a leadership fight, but also that she wants to hear "a tentative succession plan" and discussion about reflecting more diversity among the Democrats' leadership team. She said last week that she wouldn't need Republican votes and taunted Fudge about potentially running.

Fudge was not among those signing the letter released Monday.

"Oh, please", she said.

Another signer, Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, told reporters earlier this month that he may not be a firm "no" vote on Pelosi. "She's an effective person in that job".

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