It was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi who boldly predicted a ‘blue wave’ in this year’s midterm elections. Now she may be a hindrance in the eyes of many Democrats to that very predication. Like Norma Desmond, she may be losing her power, and possibly her mind.
No one in the history of the House has raised more money for the Democratic Party. Pelosi has been a conduit between the DNC and wealthy business people, corporations and liberal Hollywood to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Money is the primary motivator in politics and it has made her ‘Queen of the Hill.’ But dark clouds have formed around the aging congresswoman and many say her best days are behind her. She has been at the top for the last three national elections. The Democrats have come out badly in all three contests including their loss of the presidency and the Senate.
Her critics are now anxious to bring younger and more vibrant leadership to the forefront. They feel that Nancy’s ultra-liberal presence is making it harder for Democratic candidates in swing states.
Republicans, clinging to a 23-seat majority in the House, have made the House minority leader a central element in their attack ads and are portraying many of their opponents as inextricably tied to the liberal from San Francisco. The mere thought of ultra-progressive California is a negative with voters in the Midwest and Rust Belt states.
The younger Democrats feel Pelosi is standing in the way of the next generation of leaders. The other day, Rashida Tlaib became at least the 27th Democratic House candidate to decline to say whether she would support Pelosi.
It appears that Pelosi’s future is precarious at best. Should the ‘blue wave’ become something far short of Pelosi’s bold prediction, it may be her swan song as minority leader. In many state political contests, the Republican candidate is making the election more about Pelosi than the person running against him or her.
This dynamic is creating a conundrum for Democrats. There are those who depend heavily on her fundraising abilities. There is no question many admire her for her political savvy and status as one of the country’s most influential females.
But more Democratic faithful are breaking ranks with the San Francisco congresswoman. They feel that for Pelosi to remain in charge of the caucus reduces the chance of Democratic victory in November. It may imperil their ability to win the majority. Norma Desmond’s performance may be indicative.