California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom told Democratic Party officials at a campaign event Wednesday that he would be working hard to “put Nancy Pelosi back in the speakership” of Congress.
Newson made his remarks at party “unity” rally on Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times, where he was embraced by outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown.
Pelosi, 78, served as the first female Speaker of the House from 2007-2011. She was noted for her divisive style of leadership and for centralizing power in the speaker’s office. Congress passed massive budget deficits during her tenure and pushed through Obamacare over objections from the public and the opposition. Pelosi infamously said, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it,” and Democrats went on to lose the 2010 elections in a landslide.
Undaunted, Pelosi refused to resign her leadership, and continued to tighten her grip on power within her caucus over the years, suppressing political challenges that periodically arose from younger, more centrist members of Congress.
She has, arguably, become a drag on her party. In the special elections that have been held since Donald Trump won the presidency, Democrats have succeeded when they have pledged not to vote for her as speaker. Conor Lamb, for example, who won a close congressional race in Pennsylvania earlier this year, explicitly opposed Nancy Pelosi.
Conversely, Democrats have lost when Republicans have been able to tie them to Pelosi’s leadership, as in the special election in Georgia’s sixth congressional district, where Jon Ossoff lost to Karen Handel.
Despite internal divisions in the party, Pelosi has insisted that she will be Speaker of the House if Democrats win the elections this November.
Nevertheless, Pelosi, who represents far-left San Francisco, still holds sway in California, and Newsom is comfortable holding her up as the party’s national standard-bearer.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.