Coming off the disastrous 2016 elections, Democrats are being presented with a choice.
Do they stick with San Francisco liberal Nancy Pelosi – who has led their caucus since 2003 and presided over electoral disasters in 2010, 2014 and 2016 – or pick new leadership?
A looming vote will tell the tale.
Pelosi is being challenged by Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan.
Ryan – as many pundits do – believes the Democrats are isolated from real Americans because their party is held hostage to radical left-wing activists and donors who live on the coasts.
And that is what Nancy Pelosi symbolizes.
She suffered a setback in her bid to remain as the House Democrat leader when the caucus agreed to delay leadership elections.
That was widely interpreted as a sign many in the conference were open to new leadership.
And as the vote ticked closer, Pelosi presented confidence she would be victorious.
Pelosi stands by her prediction that she has 3/4 of Dem Caucus. When asked yesterday if she had the votes, Pelosi replied “Oh please!”
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) November 30, 2016
But should she be so sure of her position?
Buzzfeed reports a dozen Pelosi supporters may turn on her:
But while Ryan is still expected to fall short in his bid for leader, more than a dozen lawmakers who have told Pelosi they planned on supporting her have told BuzzFeed News they were either wavering or fully intended to support Ryan. The members spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of alienating their once, and probably future, leader. The vote will be held on a secret ballot, allowing members to publicly declare their intent for Pelosi while later voting against her.
“I think the anybody-but-Pelosi sentiment is stronger than she thinks it is,” one member said.
Another Democrat, who was leaning towards voting for Ryan, said that Ryan would be a better choice as the party has lost a huge amount of support with white working-class voters, and would need a more moderate voice to help win them back.
“I think a lot of people are unsure if we want the faces of the party to be Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi: liberals from New York and California. It was different with a Democratic president — he was the face of the party, but now they will be,” the Democrat said.
One Democratic member said that while they like and admire Pelosi, they thought the election results meant it was time for her to step aside: “I just don’t think you can look at the election and say we should keep doing what we’ve been doing.”
There are multiple reasons for members feeling uncomfortable with Pelosi.
For starters, the Democratic House leadership is old.
Pelosi, House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer, and Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn are all over 70 years old.
Secondly, if Pelosi does win the election, then the Democrat leader in the House will hail from San Francisco and the Senate Minority leader will reside in New York, which is exactly the picture of coastal liberalism many Americans just rejected in 2016.
Democrats can’t win elections if they continue as a far-left, identity politics caucus dominated by coastal elites.
But if Nancy Pelosi wins her election, that is exactly the image the party will present to the American people.