If House Democrats Want Change They Should Elect Nancy Pelosi Speaker

Democrats gained the majority in the House by promising change; only the strong leadership experience of Nancy Pelosi can deliver it.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaking with attendees at a Trump Tax Town Hall February 2018 Phoenix, Arizona (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

The Once and Future Speaker of the House

Winning an election on ‘Change’ is one thing; knowing how to bring about that change is another. Someone must help usher in this newly elected group of Democratic lawmakers, demonstrate the rules of legislating, how to work as a caucus and how to create positive change for the people who voted for them.

That person is Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). When it comes to outmaneuvering opponents on Capitol Hill, no Democrat even comes close.

If House Democrats want to give their voters real change, rather than only appearing to, Nancy Pelosi is the obvious choice. Democratic voters who elected this class of progressives may think they want to see someone new. Voters don’t know what they really want in House leadership; that is why they don’t get to vote.

Only House Democrats know who has the proven record and unflinching experience to stand up to the Trump administration. Pelosi is also right for the role of transitional leader. Under her leadership, the exciting freshman class of incoming House Democrats will become the battled-hardened crusaders they were elected to be. Change didn’t get them elected anyway; Nancy Pelosi did.

Hardest working person in the Democratic Party

Rep. Nancy Pelosi speaking at an April 2018 Tax March in Washington D.C. (Photo: slowking4)

The Democratic Party Rainmaker

Rep. Nancy Pelosi speaking in front of the Capitol, part of National Walkout Day, Washington D.C. March 2018 (Photo: Lorie Shaull)

A Tale of Two Parties

With Ryan glaringly absent, Rep. Kevin McCarthy had to step in and stump for Republican candidates on the campaign trail, fundraising and building candidacy support district by district, something that usually falls to the Speaker of the House. But, in contrast to Nancy Pelosi’s tireless campaign to resume the Speaker’s gavel:

Paul Ryan never wanted to be Speaker of the House in the first place.

Perhaps it was because he took a job he never wanted, but when Republican party need was most dire Ryan abandoned them. Nancy Pelosi has proven herself a loyal supporter of the Democratic Party, she wants the Speakership and her willingness to fight for it shows she knows just what a tough job it really is.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi looks on as Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2017. (photo: White House)

Democratic Challengers for Speaker of the House

Ed Perlmutter (CO), Kathleen Rice (NY), Tim Ryan (Ohio), Linda T. Sánchez (CA), Jim Cooper (TN), Bill Foster (IL), Seth Moulton (MA), Brian Higgins (NY), Stephen F. Lynch (MA), Kurt Schrader (OR), Filemon Vela (TX), and newly elected members Joe Cunningham (SC), Max Rose (NY) and Jeff Van Drew (NJ). Anthony Brindisi (NY) and Ben McAdams (UT), though their races remain undecided, signed the letter as well.

“We are thankful to Leader Pelosi for her years of service to our Country and to our Caucus. However, we also recognize that in this recent election, Democrats ran on and won on a message of change.” — 16 House Democrats in a letter delivered to their colleagues November 19, 2018

Pelosi Opposition Offers No Alternative Candidate

Though undoubtably Pelosi faces opposition from House Democrats who may plan to oppose her but declined to sign the letter, more than 90 percent of the incoming Democratic caucus did not sign.

Opposing Democrats may have another problem as well. Some Pelosi supporters say sexism and ageism are behind the attempts to push Pelosi out of the race for Speaker. 13 of the 16 signers of the opposition to Pelosi letter are white males, some moderates with a voting history of opposing abortion or gun control.

Support for Speaker Nancy Pelosi

“Out of the field, I would say that she is the most progressive candidate. All of the rebellion for the speakership are challenges to her right.” -Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Instagram

Pelosi, for her part, has been working continuously; meeting with individual members to discuss their priorities and committee assignment preferences. This is a very clever way of reminding them just how much latitude is given to the House Democratic leader to bestow the coveted committee leadership positions so crucial to a successful political career.

“No one can really doubt Pelosi’s progressive chops. And I do think, for the next two years, as we lead into 2020, and are coming off this big wave, we need someone who is smart and strategic and has done this.” -Rep. Pramila Jayapal, likely co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus next year, in a recent interview with Politico

“We strongly support and call on all members of the Democratic caucus to support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker. Were it not for her skilled and effective leadership, the ACA would not be law today. Dems must reject attempts to defeat her and move caucus to the right. Democrats should elect current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Speaker of the House. Full stop. Anything short of that would be the worst kind of political malpractice.” -MoveOn.org, twitter.

The election for Speaker of the House is scheduled for January 3, 2019.

(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)

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