Well all know when its period for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif ., to go.
Thats because shell tell us.
Nobody counts votes better than Pelosi — whether its ginning up support for ObamaCare or marshaling votes for her own leadership contest.
Some Democrats turned on her when Democrats failed to get within striking distance of reclaiming the House last fall. Those same Pelosi critics returned to the cutlery drawer the coming week when Democrat wore the collar, running 0 for 4 this year, in a series of special House elections.
Well know if and when Pelosi decides to step down from her leadership post or retire from Congress — because shell know, too. Pelosi will know if she has the support of House Democrats to continue.
Following last falls elections, Pelosi faced an internal challenge from Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, for the top House Democratic leadership position.
One evening, Ed OKeefe of the Washington Post and I staked out the route that leads from Pelosis office, through the Capitols Rayburn Room, to the House Democratic Cloakroom and on to the House floor.
Sure enough, Pelosi came by a few moments afterwards. We asked if she commanded enough supporting from her colleagues to survive Ryans uprising. What was her election prediction? The corridor was crowded and it was hard to hear above the clamor. As she went into the cloakroom, I thought Pelosi replied that she had three-fourths of her caucus.
Three-fourths? I asked to clarify as the leader disappeared into the cloakroom.
Without missing a beat, Pelosi stuck her head back around the door of the cloakroom and into the hall.
Two-thirds, Chad, she corrected. Two-thirds.
Democrats cast their votes for minority leader in a closed-door session a few days later. Pelosi vanquished Ryan.
She garnered precisely 67 percent of the vote.
Democrats did well to even compete in this years special elections. All of the vacant seats tilted heavily toward Republicans. But all the lose streak did was embolden Pelosis critics and offer them a forum in which to air their grievances.
If we are to regain the majority in 2018 in the House, we have to have new leadership, said Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Texas.
Republicans turned to a familiar playbook in this weeks special House election in Georgia, the Democrats fourth loss. They connected Democrat Jon Ossoff to Pelosi to help Republican Karen Handel keep the seat for the GOP.
Pelosis name recognition is high. Her negatives are high. Shes unpopular in the south and rural Midwest where Democrats need to capture House seats to reclaim the majority. That luggage hamstrings Pelosi from traveling to those venues to campaign for Democratic candidates. It forces Democrats to erect firewalls between themselves and their leader.
Thats why some Democrat believe its time to bouncing Pelosi. Shes served as the top Democrat in the House since early 2003.
Its a problem, one Midwestern House Democrat told Fox News.
Some Democrat close to Pelosi indicate she may have to make a choice over the next year. Should she stick around with the wing-and-a-prayer said he hoped that Democrats win back the House, capitalizing on President Trumps chaos?
That would triumphantly return Pelosi to the House Speakers suite at the Capitol for the first time since January 2011.
Or could Pelosi decide to leave early and rob Republican of a foil? Would that move give Democrats the chance to capture the House?
Some House Democrats concede privately that such a personal sacrifice could be the salve the party requires. However, the gambit runs against Pelosis DNA. She always bides and battles. The latter move far away from guarantees success. And lets construct things clear. At this stage, Nancy Pelosi isnt going anywhere.
I love the arena. I thrive on competitor, Pelosi said Friday on Capitol Hill, daring those who want her gone to do their best. When it comes to personal ambition and having fun on Tv, have your fun.
Pelosi characterized herself as a master legislator. She declared she was worth the trouble. And eventually, Pelosi fired off this munition to her detractors:( The) decision about how long I stay is not up to them.
Thats the chutzpah that drives some House Democrats crazy.
A senior House Democratic member who asked they not be identified told Fox News that Pelosi did herself no favors with those lines. The lawmaker added that the statements revealed her hubris and that she was blind to her impact.
A longtime Democratic source close to Pelosi tells Fox News that she routinely evaluates her standing with Democrat. The source said Pelosi would never do something to hurt the caucus. The Pelosi ally dismissed calls for her to disappear as normal in politics , noting that one side always views the opposition leader with supernatural evil.
Consider how Democrat framed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga ., and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas.
The Pelosi ally wanted to know whether GOP efforts to link Democratic nominees to Pelosi in fact worked.
Is it turning elections or reaffirming referendums? asked the source, who added that voters who hate Pelosi couldnt name three states members of Congress.
That told, some Democrats are revved up.
Its as real as it gets, said one House Democrat about fear over Pelosi. Ive never seen people this torqued. Shed be out if there was a clear scheme in place for secession. The topic is, where does this end?
The problem is that the fate of Pelosi is tied inextricably to her long-time competitor, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
There is also a connection to Assistant Minority Leader Jim Clyburn, D-S.C.
The troika represents different wings of the Democratic Caucus. Prying one loose doesnt inevitably propel one of the other two to the top spot. Moreover, a Pelosi departure generates a void not inevitably filled by either Hoyer and Clyburn.
Thats why some Democrats ask why only Pelosi should be on the ropes. What about the other two?
The problem is that you cant replace someone with nobody, said one senior Democrat close to Pelosi.
Republicans fought with the same issue in the fall of 2015 when the conservative House Freedom Caucus wanted to remove then-House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Those who are seeking to replace Boehner didnt have an immediate successor in mind. Republicans promptly burned through House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif ., in less than a week. Then there was a dalliance with Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. — perhaps running on a ticket alongside an embattled McCarthy.
Republicans ultimately settled on House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Maintain in intellect that Ryan said for years, let alone days before taking the speakers gavel, that he didnt want the job.
This is why leadership elections are not partisan politics, but particle politics. The events that influence who climbs the leadership ladder are chosen at the sub-atomic political level.
If Pelosi were to depart, could her successor be the natural number two in Hoyer? Or could there be another trio on the horizon? Try House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley, D-N.Y .; Vice Caucus Chairwoman Linda Sanchez, D-Calif .; and Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond, D-La.
In Crowley, Sanchez and Richmond, Democrat score political, geographic and ethnic diversity, hitting all constituencies of their caucus. That threesome could be the next generation of Democratic leaders. But the sub-atomic quarks and leptons havent yet aligned yet.
Every leader should have the gallantry of to determine when to step down, told Rep. Kathleen Rice, D.N.Y ., one of Pelosis most-vocal critics. Were not going to do something in secret away from the caucus.
Rice says she and others wont try to stage a takeover. That nearly happened to Gingrich when a rump group of Republican virtually subverted the him in the summer of 1998. But from that point forward, Gingrichs days were numbered. He left the speakership after the 1998 midterm election.
Is this episode for Pelosi similar to Gingrichs reckoning? Unclear. Many Democrat dont believe shes going anywhere.
Shes like Trump, said one senior House Democrat whos had his differences with Pelosi. She could shoot somebody in broad daylight on Fifth Avenue and nothing would happen.
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