- Nancy Pelosi said she will run for speaker of the House again after the midterm elections, expressing confidence in a Democratic wave election this November.
- Republicans have already started to cut advertisements around her comments, reinvigorating their campaign against Pelosi, their favourite congressional boogeyman.
WASHINGTON – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has long been congressional Republicans’ favourite boogeyman to link opponents to in the hopes of cultivating a narrative of out of touch, liberal elitism.
Amid speculation that her reign as top House Democrat could be coming to an end, Republican operatives were jumping with joy on Tuesday when Pelosi announced she is not going anywhere.
In an interview with the Boston Globe, Pelosi made clear she is still the boss and has no intention of taking on a smaller role after the 2018 midterm elections this fall. Pelosi expressed confidence that Democrats are in for a monumental wave election after solid Republican control of government for the past two years.
“We will win. I will run for speaker. I feel confident about it. And my members do, too,” she said.
Immediately, Republicans began pushing out Pelosi’s comments, as they always do when she asserts herself as the premier Democrat in the United States.
“Pelosi is already the most unpopular politician in America – something House Democratic candidates would agree with – and the prospect of her implementing an extremely progressive agenda will be a huge motivator for Republicans this fall,” National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) spokesman Jesse Hunt wrote in an email to reporters.
The NRCC will launch ads on her remarks in the coming days, Politico reported in their Playbook newsletter Wednesday morning.
Pelosi’s commitment to stay on board provides a big relief for Republican operatives who were privately fretting that she would bow out of leadership to make way for a new generation, as Business Insider reported in March.
Still, many Democratic candidates challenging Republicans in rural and politically diverse districts are distancing themselves from Pelosi.
Rep. Conor Lamb, who recently won a special election in a Pennsylvania district carried by Republicans in 2016, cut advertisements stating he was not supportive of Pelosi as party leader.
“My opponent wants you to believe the biggest issue in this campaign is Nancy Pelosi. It’s all a big lie,” Lamb said in the ad released in February. “I’ve already said on the front page of the newspaper that I don’t support Nancy Pelosi.”
Allowing candidates to speak freely and break with both the base and leadership could be necessary for Democrats to regain control of the House.
“He wasn’t afraid to maybe break with some orthodoxy where he thought it would work in his district,” Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes told Business Insider in March. “And I think it’s indicative of the kind of room that our congressional candidates are gonna need in purple or red areas.”
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