Opinion Brief

Why Democrats didn't sack Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi won her bid for House minority leader, beating a challenge from a Blue Dog Democrat ... and perplexing many pundits

Outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) beat back a challenge from "Blue Dog" Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), 150–43, to emerge as House Democrats' choice for minority leader in the next Congress. Though she won by a wide margin, the tally was still seen as a sign that many in the caucus are uncomfortable with her leadership. Given Pelosi's unpopularity nationally, and the "shellacking" her caucus just endured, why didn't Democrats pick a new public face for the party? (Watch a Fox News discussion about Pelosi's re-election)

They need her experience: Pelosi "has a great deal of work to do to rebuild the confidence of her caucus," says John Nichols in The Nation. But she won a "sufficient mandate" to lead because "she has the skills" and "generally well-regarded political instincts" to be an effective minority leader, again. That's the reason House Democrats chose her 10 years ago, and it still applies.
"Pelosi easily retains leadership post; now she must lead"

Democrats are masochistic and delusional: After the House Democrats' drubbing, keeping Pelosi on is "an act of electoral self-wounding that calls for psychiatric intervention," says Clive Crook in The Atlantic. If they chose her because they think her ideas are right, that would be somewhat "admirable." But they seem to think Americans agree with them, and that "calls into question [their] sanity," and their seriousness about winning back the majority.
"On Nancy Pelosi and Michael Foot"

There was no one else to choose: Keeping an "unpopular leader" may seem like a "self-defeating move" from "a public relations perspective," say Jonathan Allen and John F. Harris in Politico. And maybe it is. But House Democrats want a strong fighter sticking up for their interests, especially to the Obama White House, and no credible challenger stepped up. Whether you love Pelosi or hate her, when it comes to fundraising and corralling votes, "she's got game."
"Why Dems don't dump Pelosi"

Recommended

Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announces campaign for Congress
Bill de Blasio
he's running

Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announces campaign for Congress

Oklahoma Legislature passes bill prohibiting abortion after fertilization
Pro-choice and anti-abortion activists at a protest.
abortion in america

Oklahoma Legislature passes bill prohibiting abortion after fertilization

Jan. 6 committee wants to speak with GOP lawmaker over Capitol tour
Rep. Barry Loudermilk.
capitol riot aftermath

Jan. 6 committee wants to speak with GOP lawmaker over Capitol tour

Bush mistakenly condemns 'brutal invasion of Iraq'
George W. Bush
bushisms

Bush mistakenly condemns 'brutal invasion of Iraq'

Most Popular

College student who delivered baby before graduation surprised at hospital
Jada Sayles receives her diploma.
major milestones

College student who delivered baby before graduation surprised at hospital

Russian state TV military analyst backpedals criticism of Ukraine invasion
Mikhail Khodarenok
'the colonel has been reined back in'

Russian state TV military analyst backpedals criticism of Ukraine invasion

Elon Musk reportedly offered to trade a horse for an erotic massage
Elon Musk
A horse?

Elon Musk reportedly offered to trade a horse for an erotic massage