A Shellshocked Party in Chaos: Pelosi's Future Uncertain as Dems Weigh Options
By Caitlin Huey-Burns & James Arkin, Real Clear Politics
Faced with the unexpected task of rebuilding their party under a Donald Trump presidency, Democrats are deliberating whether their path forward includes Nancy Pelosi at the helm of the House caucus.
Under significant pressure from frustrated rank-and-file members, Minority Leader Pelosi postponed leadership elections until after the Thanksgiving holiday. Many Democrats have said this week they want more time to digest the lessons of last week’s “shellacking” rather than rushing to hold the elections this week.
The Democratic caucus is weighing whether the results of the presidential election call for a replacement of their long-serving, coast-dwelling, aging leaders or whether the collective experience of the top brass is beneficial in combating a President Trump and congressional Republicans.
“We don’t want to rush a vote to leadership for [voters] to think everything is business as usual,” said Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego. “Everything is not good. Business as usual is no longer going to work.”
In a private meeting of Democrats Tuesday morning – before deciding to delay leadership elections until after Thanksgiving – Pelosi tried to rally her caucus by pointing out the opposition party took control of Congress under the three previous presidents.
“We’ve been through hell,” she said, according to an aide in the room. “And it’s only going to get worse as he makes his appointments and we have this fight. But we have to see it as an opportunity."
The challenge for those clamoring for change is there is no clear alternative to Pelosi. No member has officially thrown his or her hat into the ring.