WORTH THE TROU­BLE?

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY SALLY PER­SONS AND SETH MCLAUGH­LIN

De­fi­ant House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thurs­day that she’s not go­ing any­where, brush­ing back com­plaints from rank-and-file Democrats that she has led them to po­lit­i­cal obliv­ion and in­sist­ing that what­ever the elec­tion losses she has over­seen, she is “worth the trou­ble.”

A series of losses in spe­cial con­gres­sional elec­tions — in­clud­ing one that cost the party tens of mil­lions of dol­lars in dona­tions in a los­ing cause in Ge­or­gia this week — have sparked a new round of crit­i­cism for the Cal­i­for­nian.

She has be­come an easy tar­get for Repub­li­can can­di­dates on the cam­paign trail, and some of her troops say they can’t re­cap­ture the House with her at the top.

But she said those dis­sent­ing voices are the mi­nor­ity and the num­ber of elec­tion losses this year is a good sign.

“I feel very con­fi­dent in the sup­port I have in the cau­cus,” she told re­porters on Capi­tol Hill, mount­ing a stiff de­fense of her 15 years at the helm of her party cau­cus.

“I’m a mas­ter leg­is­la­tor, I am a strate­gic, po­lit­i­cally as­tute leader, my lead­er­ship is rec­og­nized by many around the coun­try, and that is why I’m able to at­tract the sup­port that I do, which is es­sen­tial to our elec­tion, sad to say,” she said.

She added that she is one of the party’s top fundrais­ers, trail­ing only the Clin­tons and for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama.

In her time as leader, Democrats suf­fered losses in 2004 and cel­e­brated mas­sive vic­to­ries in 2006 and 2008, pro­pel­ling her to two terms as speaker of the House — the high­est po­lit­i­cal role of any woman in U.S. history. But she then over­saw a steady de­cline. Democrats lost their House ma­jor­ity af­ter the 2010 elec­tions and sank to their low­est point in nearly a cen­tury af­ter the 2014 elec­tions.

Pelosi boasts she’s ‘mas­ter leg­is­la­tor’ in face of party losses

Repub­li­cans now hold a 242-193 ma­jor­ity in the House.

Af­ter the elec­tions in Novem­ber, Mrs. Pel­soi tamped down a re­bel­lion in her party in part by agree­ing to re­struc­ture the lead­er­ship team to high­light younger mem­bers.

But this week’s elec­tion losses re­newed com­plaints.

The lat­est blow was Repub­li­can Karen Han­del’s de­feat of Demo­crat Jon Os­soff in Ge­or­gia in the most ex­pen­sive con­gres­sional race in history. The Han­del cam­paign and al­lied groups poured mil­lions of dol­lars into television and ra­dio ads link­ing Mr. Os­soff to Mrs. Pelosi.

Rep. Kath­leen M. Rice of New York said Mrs. Pelosi has been a “great leader, but like every leader, in time im­memo­rial, it’s time for peo­ple to know when to go.”

“And some­times it’s hard to get peo­ple who are in power, who are used to that, to say, ‘You know what? I need to step back and do what’s best for this party,’” Ms. Rice said on CNN’s “New Day.” “I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi be­lieves that she is the one that can lead this party. I hap­pen to have a dif­fer­ent opin­ion.”

Rep. Tim Ryan, the Ohio Demo­crat who chal­lenged Mrs. Pelosi for the leader’s post af­ter the Novem­ber elec­tions, said on MSNBC’s “Morn­ing Joe” that it will be hard for Democrats to take back the House un­der Mrs. Pelosi.

“You see these com­mer­cials that tie these can­di­dates to Leader Pelosi week in and week out in the last sev­eral months,” he said. “That still moves the nee­dle.”

Mr. Trump also weighed in.

“I cer­tainly hope the Democrats do not force Nancy P out,” the pres­i­dent said on Twit­ter, ex­tend­ing his wish to Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Demo­crat. “That would be very bad for the Repub­li­can Party - and please let Cryin’ Chuck stay!”

Mrs. Pelosi said she doubted Mr. Trump wrote the tweet him­self, and she dis­missed fears that at­tack ads aimed at her will sink fel­low Democrats.

“I think I am worth the trou­ble, quite frankly,” she said.

She en­gi­neered the 2006 Demo­cratic vic­to­ries that won con­trol of the House and is con­fi­dent she can do it again next year. She said re­dis­trict­ing and “voter sup­pres­sion” ex­plain some of her party’s prob­lems, but she in­sisted that Democrats must — and will — de­liver a ral­ly­ing mes­sage to vot­ers.

Tom Perez, chair­man of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee, came to Mrs. Pelosi’s de­fense, say­ing she was the chief rea­son Oba­macare passed Congress.

“Thank God she was lead­ing the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives dur­ing the pas­sage of that,” Mr. Perez said on ABC’s “The View.” “She has fought her en­tire ca­reer for fair­ness, for op­por­tu­nity, for ev­ery­one.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

CON­FI­DENT: “I am a strate­gic, po­lit­i­cally as­tute leader, my lead­er­ship is rec­og­nized by many around the coun­try, and that is why I’m able to at­tract the sup­port that I do, which is es­sen­tial to our elec­tion, sad to say,” House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi told re­porters on Thurs­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.