As the Democrats’ chances of taking back the house have come closer to reality, renewed concern has developed about what they will actually do if they win. Chief among these concerns is the decision of who will lead them as Speaker of the House.
“We will win. I will run for Speaker. I feel confident about it. And my members do, too,” former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told members of the Boston Globe during a fundraiser. She backed up her conviction that she is the right candidate for the job saying: “It’s important that it not be five white guys at the table, no offense.”
Pelosi has been a lightning rod for negative attacks throughout the special elections from the past months. In one ad, ran against current representative Conor Lamb during his election race, the lyrics to “Mary had a little lamb” was changed to “Nancy had a little lamb,” in an off-key rendition of the song.
“He followed her liberal views, that she brought from San Francisco,” were the lyrics that closed out that song. Lamb has vowed not to vote for Pelosi to become Speaker of the House if Democrats take back the majority.
“In reality, next fall is going to come down to whether or not you want to reinstitute Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House,” GOP campaign chairman John Rogers told reporters last year.
Increasingly the Republican party has been relying on tying their opponents to the larger Democratic establishment, in a move reminiscent of Trump’s constant attacks on Hillary Clinton.
Increasingly, Democratic challengers have been announcing they would not support Pelosi for Speaker if elected. “President Putin probably has a better approval rating in Georgia than Nancy Pelosi,” a Democratic candidate in Georgia told reporters.
Despite only needing 24 seats to flip the house one Democratic lawmaker said she would need substantially more to secure the Speaker’s gavel. “I think the magic number is somewhere between 29 and 34,” said one Democratic lawmaker. “She has to probably get to 34 seats to guarantee she can still be Speaker.”
“The problem that Pelosi complainers have is that there’s no one that can beat her. And that continues to be the case,” one Pelosi ally said. “Who’s going to beat Nancy Pelosi? There’s no one that can. So she’ll win in the Caucus, and then she’ll win on the floor.”
Pelosi was the first woman elected to Speaker of the House and was sworn in as such in 2007. She has been the minority leader since 2011.
H/T: The Boston Globe