House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is probably not going anywhere, though she is facing some pressure for being part of the problem Democrats are facing: winning elections. The Republican base despises her and after all these years in the minority on the Hill—she’s still a motivating factor for GOP turnout. Hillary Clinton would probably be another lightning rod. The fact that she’s the face of the party have other members wondering if Democrats could win if the GOP once again makes her the villain for 2018. Some are saying that with her still at the top spot, the chances of a Democratic takeover next year are slim to none (via Politico):
Led by Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) and Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), at least some in the group believe Pelosi has to go in order for Democrats to have a chance to win the House back in Nov. 2018. Ryan unsuccessfully challenged Pelosi for party leader back in November.
There are many more people today, even from November, who are much more vocal, who have approached us and said, ‘I’m done. We need to move forward and we need to get a new leadership team in place,” Rice said after the hour-long meeting.
“There is a consensus, I think, that we can reach in the caucus that allows for a new leadership team to be put in place in a time that’s well before, hopefully, November of next year.”
But despite the renewed noise surrounding Pelosi’s leadership, no one within the caucus has stepped forward to challenge her and an actual coup against the long-time leader is still a long shot.
At least a dozen Democrats attended the confab including Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond (La.), Tony Cardenas (Calif.), a member of House Democratic leadership, and Reps. Ami Bera (Calif.), Filemon Vela (Texas), Ruben Gallego (Ariz.) and Del. Stacey Plaskett (V.I.).
Roughly 20 Democrats were invited to the private session, although one member said some decided not to show up after POLITICO reported the meeting ahead of time.
For Tim Ryan (D-OH), who challenged Pelosi for the leadership position at the outset of this current session of Congress, he admitted that while Trump is viewed as toxic by some, Pelosi is considered more so in other parts of the country. Ryan also added that the Democratic brand has also become radioactive with voters, and that change is needed in order to win (via Real Clear Politics):
"The brand is just bad," the Congressman said on CNN Wednesday night. "I don't think people in the beltway are realizing just how toxic the Democratic Party brand is in so many parts of the country."
"I think the honest answer is in some areas of the country, yes, she is," Ryan said about the toxicity of the House Minority Leader. "I think that in certain areas, like in some of these special election districts, it doesn't benefit our candidates to be tied to her."
"She's less popular than Donald Trump in my district," Ryan told CNN's Don Lemon.
Other Democratic congressman, like Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), also joined the Pelosi-out caucus saying, “This is certainly something that we have to discuss because it's clear that, I think, across the board in the Democratic Party we need new leadership. It's time for a new generation of leadership in the party."
When asked by NBC News’ Alex Seitz-Wald about “a change at the top,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) said, "We're always reviewing that, believe me.”
Again, this isn’t going to really happen, but it does show that there are more than a few Democrats who know what the problem is, know that their party has moved so far to the left on cultural issues that they can’t connect with moderate suburban voters, and this crew could be the ones who either lead or show the way for Democrats out of this political funk. That won’t happen as long as Nancy is queen of the mountain, however. And it certainly won’t happen if rabid progressives keep demonizing and denigrating people with whom they disagree. Ignoring half the nation isn’t the best strategy when it comes to winning elections.