Congressional Democrats went into Election Day last week with hopes of retaking the Senate and expanding their House majority. Neither came to pass; Republicans are projected to remain in control of the upper chamber, while Democrats have lost seats in the lower one, according to reports.
Of course, that failure on the part of the Democratic Party hasn’t stopped Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) from announcing that she will again make a bid for speaker of the House. But whether that effort ends in victory or a humiliating defeat for the longtime San Francisco Democrat remains to be seen.
As the Washington Examiner‘s Kerry Picket reported Friday, Pelosi sent a letter to House Democrats asking for their “support” in her bid to remain third-in-line for the presidency. But reports suggest holding onto her gavel might be harder for Pelosi than she had anticipated.
A party in limbo
Indeed, with Democrats falling far short of their hopes of a “blue wave” on Tuesday, signs of a rift in the caucus are already showing. As Breitbart reported, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a moderate Democrat from Virginia, said in a conference call with House Dems last week that her colleagues would “get f*****g torn apart” in the 2022 elections if the party doesn’t change its strategy.
“We have to commit to not saying the words ‘defund the police’ ever again,” Spanberger said, according to Breitbart. “We need to not ever use the words socialist or socialism ever again. It does matter, and we have lost good members because of that.”
Pelosi, for her part, acknowledged the “diverse viewpoints” in her letter Thursday, saying she has the “utmost respect” for differing perspectives and “the urgency of the challenges ahead.” But are Democrats buying it?
The New York Post suggested in a report as early as last Thursday that the Democrat losses could push the party to “replace” Pelosi as House speaker. According to the Post, some have suggested elevating Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat, to the role.
Jeffries, for his part, says he isn’t interested, and the Examiner‘s Picket noted that no other Dems have come forward with plans to run for the speakership. But that hasn’t done much to quell the speculation.
A future uncertain
A full 15 Democrats voted against Pelosi in her January 2019 bid for the role, Politico reported. According to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), nearly a dozen of those defectors won their re-election bids this year — and that has put Pelosi in a tight spot.
“To become speaker, you have to have 218 votes on the floor,” McCarthy explained in a Sunday interview with Fox’s Maria Bartiromo, according to a separate report from the Washington Examiner.
“When [Pelosi] went up for that vote two years ago, there were 15 Democrats who voted against her. Ten of those Democrats will be coming back to Congress,” he added. “If those 10 vote against her again, she will not be speaker of the House because she won’t have 218, because of the gains of Republicans.”
It all adds up to an uncertain future for “Crazy Nancy.”