June 21, 2017

Nancy Pelosi Under The Spotlight After Ossoff’s Big Loss

Besides Jon Ossoff, the biggest loser last night was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. That’s because a significant portion of Republican’s messaging during the Georgia-6 special election was devoted to highlighted Ossoff’s close ties to Pelosi. That did significant damage to Ossoff:

“And the fact that Republicans spent millions of dollars on TV ads tying Democratic hopeful Jon Ossoff to Pelosi — and the brand of progressive policies she represents — shows that she will once against be an issue for Democratic challengers in the very seats that the party needs to win to make her speaker again.”

Now as Democrats try to move forward after last night’s devastating defeat, the political liability of having Pelosi as leader is coming under increasing scrutiny. Many House Democrats are coming to the realization that Pelosi’s leadership is doing real harm to their electoral hopes:

“‘I think you’d have to be an idiot to think we could win the House with Pelosi at the top,’ said Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas), who supported Pelosi in her last leadership race. ‘Nancy Pelosi is not the only reason that Ossoff lost. But she certainly is one of the reasons.'”

Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) was also quick to take a shot at Pelosi when he said that “it’s time for a new generation of leadership in the party.” Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), who challenged Pelosi earlier this year, was another rank-and-file member to use Ossoff’s loss to critique Pelosi, saying she was a “political drag on other Democrats”:

“Mr. Ryan, who tried to unseat Ms. Pelosi, Democrat of California, as House minority leader after the November elections, said she remained a political drag on other Democrats. Ms. Handel and Republican outside groups tied Mr. Ossoff to Ms. Pelosi in campaign events and television ads, casting him as a puppet for what they described as her liberal agenda and ‘San Francisco values.’ ‘They’re still running against her and still winning races, and it’s still a problem,’ Mr. Ryan said.”

Finger pointing after a demoralizing loss is nothing new. What should be worrying to Pelosi though is that Ossoff’s loss is a clear sign that that her brand is still politically toxic outside the Bay Area.