After taking another drubbing at the ballot box in the November elections, Democrats in Washington had scheduled a vote to return California Democrat Nancy Pelosi to her Minority Leadership position. But that vote was scrubbed as some Democrats began to voice doubts about her continuing to serve in that role.
On Tuesday, a week after Donald Trump won election to the presidency, House leadership announced that their party vote to select leaders for the next session of Congress has been postponed until after Thanksgiving.
Several members of the Democrat caucus have expressed reservations about returning Pelosi to her leadership position after years of declining Democrat influence in the House of Representatives.
Telling the Washington Post that there is “angst” in the Democrat caucus, Rep. Richard Neal (D, MA) said that Democrats may want to change their message.
“To stick with the same message over four bad election cycles is a mistake,” Neal said. “I think part of it is that the messengers have to change.”
Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton also made a statement urging his party to give more consideration to picking leadership for the upcoming session.
“As we begin the 115th Congress, House Democrats must take the time to reflect on the message the American people sent us last Tuesday. Delaying the vote on leadership positions is the necessary first step to have that conversation. The American people cried out last week and we’ve got to listen,” Moulton said in a statement reported by the Lowell Sun.
Another Democrat told Politico that she was surprised at the level of concern among her fellows, causing the delay of the vote.
“It’s a big deal because I think our leadership started out today thinking it was business as usual,” Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) told Politico. “And I think that probably not just our leadership but many people in our caucus were surprised at the level of discontent in our caucus.”
Still another Democrat noted that ignoring white voters in favor of pandering to minority voting blocks doomed Democrats to lose both the White House and numerous other offices.
“We think we can make up for those shrinking numbers over the past 10 years through this group or that group, and my response to that is: We should be out for everybody,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) said. “We cannot simply think that we’re smarter than [everyone] else … and think that we can do this without white working men. We can’t, and the Democratic Party better wake up and understand it.”
There were also reports that Pelosi was upset by the postponement of her coronation as the party’s continued leader. According to Politico, “Pelosi was described as ‘very angry,’ ‘furious’ and ‘extremely defensive’ by multiple sources during what was an often ‘raucous’ gathering.”
Meanwhile, some Democrats are cautiously urging Rep. Tim Ryan (D, OH) to challenge Pelosi to a fight for her seat.
Ryan’s office, though, refused to confirm whether or not the Congressman is considering the move.
“While he has not made any decisions about a leadership run, he strongly believes that the American people are asking for big changes and we need to figure out how best to deliver on their requests,” Ryan spokesman Michael Zetts told The Hill.
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