Nancy Pelosi wants Democrats to calm down about Bernie Sanders

Nancy Pelosi
(Image credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) privately urged her caucus Thursday to stay calm as Democratic voters pick the party's presidential nominee, The New York Times reports. A lot of Democratic officials, including dozens of House moderates, have warned of electoral disaster if Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wins the nomination.

Pelosi reportedly laughed when one lawmaker suggested she herself could swoop in to lead the presidential ticket if things get ugly, saying, "I like my job — you're not getting rid of me that easily." House Democrats will campaign on their own agenda and need to "keep our eye on the ball," she reportedly told her caucus, adding: "The ball has an orange face." Pelosi's "For the People" agenda focuses on lowering the cost of health care, creating well-paying jobs, and fighting corruption.

"It is not unusual for a party platform or the candidates for president to have their own agenda that they would put forth, and it's not unusual for the House of Representatives to have its agenda as well," Pelosi told reporters Thursday morning. "The presidential is its own race, and contrary to what you may be hearing or writing, we are all unified. Whoever the nominee is of our party, we will wholeheartedly support." Pelosi has remained rigorously neutral in the presidential contest. When asked Wednesday if she would be comfortable with Sanders as the nominee, Pelosi said, "Yes."

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"Republicans have already begun working hard to convince voters that there is no distinction between Mr. Sanders and Democratic members of Congress, despite the fact that fewer than 10 House Democrats have endorsed the Vermont senator and many have long records of disagreement with him," the Times reports. But Pelosi's strategy might prevail, Brendan Buck, a counselor to former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in 2016, told the Times. "We were able to run a parallel agenda because people looked at Donald Trump as his own person and didn't necessarily think every Republican is just like Donald Trump."

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.