Po­lar­iz­ing fig­ure

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - FROM THE COVER -

It’s thor­oughly un­sur­pris­ing that this news­pa­per has cho­sen to en­dorse Rep. Nancy Pelosi to again be speaker of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives if a “blue wave” of vot­ing leads to a Demo­cratic ma­jor­ity there. There’s no ques­tion that Pelosi has been a prodi­gious fundraiser for Demo­cratic can­di­dates and se­cured sub­stan­tial fed­eral funds for her home dis­trict.

How­ever, she has be­come a po­lar­iz­ing fig­ure even within her own po­lit­i­cal party. Many younger Democrats re­sent Pelosi’s sense of en­ti­tle­ment to again be the House ma­jor­ity leader, as well as her curt dis­missal of chal­lengers to her po­si­tion as “in­con­se­quen­tial.” How can a po­lit­i­cal party that is not in the ma­jor­ity in the House, the Sen­ate or the White House be rein­vig­o­rated or at­tract new mem­bers when deeply en­trenched lead­ers like Pelosi refuse to cede their power? Pelosi’s mantra for the 2018 midterm elec­tions is “Just win, baby.” But what if the Democrats don’t win be­cause Pelosi’s can­di­dacy damp­ens the turnout of younger vot­ers or causes more Repub­li­cans to cast bal­lots to main­tain a GOP House ma­jor­ity?

Richard Fairchild, Wal­nut Creek

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