Some House Democrats mull over how to oust Pelosi as leader

Southern states will be hit particularly hard

"That would be very bad for the Republican Party - and please let Cryin' Chuck stay!"

Democratic candidate for 6th congressional district Jon Ossoff, left, waves to the crowd while stepping offstage with his fiancee Alisha Kramer after conceding to Republican Karen Handel at his election night party in Atlanta, Tuesday, June 20, 2017.

Democrats must flip 24 GOP-held seats to regain a House majority next November, but the latest losses mean party leaders and liberal groups will have to rally donors and volunteers after a tough stretch of special elections.

Democrats invested millions in the costliest House race, but Republican Karen Handel beat Jon Ossoff on Tuesday. Ryan made it clear after his failed bid to oust Pelosi in the fall that he wasn't planning to challenge her again and was just supporting the effort.

It was enough to help Handel raise more than $5 million, not a paltry sum in a congressional race, but barely a fifth of Ossoff's fundraising haul. Veteran GOP ad-maker Brad Todd says that's because the San Francisco congresswoman is the personification of the liberal values they can't stomach.

The top three House Democrats are now Pelosi, who is 77; Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, who is 78; and South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, who is 76. The daughter and sister of former Baltimore mayors, she rose quickly through Democratic ranks in the 1980s as California party chairman, then finance chair for the party's Senate campaign committee.

"I think she's one of the best speakers ever, and I am glad to support her", said Rep. Pelosi told fellow House Democrats in a letter Wednesday, "The House was in play before the Georgia race".

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), who ran an unsuccessful campaign to unseat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) a year ago, said Thursday it will be hard for his party to take back control of the House with Pelosi at the helm. "It still moves voters", Ryan said. "To come within a hair's breath of winning that seat is nothing short of extraordinary", said House Democratic Caucus Vice Chairwoman Linda Sánchez, D-Calif. "She has been a great leader, but like every leader, time immemorial, it's time for people to know when to go", Rice said.

She complained of the "vitriolic things that they say that resulted in calls to my home constantly, threats in front of my grandchildren - really, predicated on their comments and their paid ads".




She recently had a shining moment on the House floor, however, in the hours after the June 14 shooting of Republican lawmakers.

"Unfortunately a loss for us, but not good news for them", Pelosi told the rank-and-file in a closed door meeting Wednesday morning, according to Democrats present.

The focus on Pelosi comes in part because she's the only figure in Democratic politics who is universally known and detested on the right.

When President Trump, for example, announced USA withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord - a voluntary agreement that promised only to reduce the average global temperature by just 0.05°C by 2100 - Pelosi accused the president of "dishonoring" God and questioned whether his grandchildren will even be able to breathe air.

A day after the election, Democrats are left with the bitter hope of another tighter-than-usual margin, still searching for a contest where anti-Trump energy and flush campaign coffers actually add up to victory. His 2015-16 giving was well behind Pelosi previous year, at $592,500. "It's time for a new generation of leadership".

Moulton acknowledged there was no candidate at the moment challenging the party leadership. "We need a genuinely new message, a serious jobs plan that reaches all Americans and a bigger tent, not a smaller one". Democratic Party divisions are on stark display after a disappointing spec. If elected, I will not vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker.

Democrats came close but still lost in special elections in Kansas, Montana, Georgia and SC.

Yet neither Ossoff's campaign nor the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee attempted to tie Republican victor Karen Handel to Trump in a television ad even once.

"One important lesson is that when they go low, going high doesn't f**king work", Tanden said.

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