Despite taking a "shellacking" at the polls on Nov. 2, Democrats decided to keep Nancy Pelosi as their leader in the House. In a six-hour closed-door meeting on Wednesday, Pelosi overcame a challenge from North Carolina Rep. Heath Shuler, winning 150 votes to Shuler's 43. Was keeping Pelosi in power a wise move for Democrats?
- This Decision Was Tone Deaf, writes Jay Newton-Small at Time:
- She's Incredibly Unpopular, writes Nate Silver at The New York Times:
Ms. Pelosi is among the least popular politicians in America today — perhaps the single least popular one that maintains an active political role. I took an average of favorability scores for Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Boehner, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, and about a dozen other prominent politicians, including several Republican candidates for President and some past presidential and vice presidential nominees.
The average score for Ms. Pelosi was 30 percent favorable and 55 percent unfavorable, giving her a net favorability rating of negative-25. This was the worst score of any politician in the study by some margin. Others with substantially net negative scores included Dick Cheney (-17), Harry Reid (-16), Sarah Palin (-14), Newt Gingrich (-10) and George W. Bush (-9; his numbers have improved some), but Ms. Pelosi’s scores were somewhat worse over all.
- This Was a Smart Move, write Jonathan Allen and John Harris at Politico:
- Pelosi Can Be Successful, writes John Nichols at The Nation. He explains how:
Pelosi needs to signal that she understands why Democrats lost and do much more to frame out a winning agenda for the party. To do this, she must get beyond bumper slogans and talking points.She needs to use the bully pulpit that is hers for the remainder of her speakership to frame the Democratic agenda that President Obama is either too overwhelmed or too compromised to advance. That does not mean that she has to attack or diminish Obama, but she does need to distinguish herself and the House Democratic Caucus from the White House. There has to be some sense of why it matters to maintain the mission of the caucus as Democrats move from majority to minority status. Above all, she must establish that House Democrats are united around a set of principles for which they are willing to fight—aggressively and effectively.