“It’s actually gotten a lot better than some people would have predicted,” Kildee said.
Democrats made a big fuss about their longtime leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stepping down from leadership, but she's still calling shots behind the scenes.
The woman who ruled the Dems with an iron fist for 20 years has continued to act as an informal adviser to the party, Politico reported.
Pelosi is advising her members on the upcoming debt ceiling fight with Republicans, drawing from her own experience with fighting over the debt limit during the Obama years, the report said.
The former Speaker still sends e-mails from "Speaker Pelosi," and lawmakers solicit her guidance as well, the report added.
California Democrat Anna Eshoo said Pelosi "relishes" her new role as party elder, which Pelosi has described as "liberating." Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) likened the situation to "having two popes.”
Pelosi has also continued to play the role of kingmaker, throwing a coveted endorsement to close ally Adam Schiff (D-CA) in the race to succeed California Senator Dianne Feinstein (D).
And while no longer numero uno, Democrats continue to shower Pelosi with praise befitting of a North Korean dictator.
House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-Ny.) says that he has sought "her advice, her thoughts, her guidance, her suggestions, her experience as the greatest speaker of all time in the United States of America.”
Pelosi isn't the only former Democratic leader to shine in semi-retirement. The octogenarian troika of Pelosi, former Majority leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) have all remained influential.
“I wouldn’t think of them as just rank and file,” said Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) said. “They have a prestige and a status and gravitas that’s still pretty high. And they don’t want to step on the current leadership’s toes.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee highlighted Politico's report, saying it demonstrates that Pelosi is still in charge and not Jeffries.
"House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi knows Hakeem Jeffries is not up for the job leading the most extreme Democrat caucus in history, and that’s why she is still around calling the shots," NRCC National Press Secretary Will Reinert said.
It's not surprising that an ambitious, power-drunk career politician like Pelosi is still pulling strings from the back benches. It almost makes you wonder what Obama is up to these days.