Déjà Vu All Over Again – Dems Running on Pelosi for Speaker in 2012

Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) and chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has set his goal for the next election cycle: make Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House…again.

Apparently Israel missed the recent Gallup poll showing that since 2009 Pelosi’s favorable/unfavorable ratings have diverged faster than the Red Sea.

It would be one thing if those negative feelings were coming solely from the Republican Party. But frankly, we’ve pretty much always disliked her. In fact, since early 2010, her favorability amongst Republicans has inched upwards by 1 percent, but has crashed amongst independents, falling from 32 percent favorable, to a measly 21 percent favorable.

A Wall Street Journal poll in September largely echoed the public’s dislike of Nancy Pelosi. That poll found that 50 percent of the population had a negative view of Pelosi. That’s lower than the Democratic Party, President Obama, and even the polarizing Sarah Palin herself. The only person or entity that equaled people’s negative feelings about Pelosi was BP.

That’s right, people disliked Pelosi just as much as they did a huge corporation, raking in record profits, while dumping millions of gallons of oil into one of the most fragile ecosystems in America.

Truly an accomplishment Ms. Pelosi.

The public rancor over her leadership was so great that in yesterday’s vote counts for Speaker of the House, 19 Democrats voted against her. As noted by Politico, “The roll call resulted in the most votes against a party’s own speaker candidate in nearly 90 years, according to the House historian’s office.” The list of people who voted against her included some names you’d expect, especially the newer or more moderate Democrats. But one name surprised everyone. Fellow Californian Dennis Cardoza who was thought to be a close ally of Pelosi refused to vote for her, instead opting for another Californian congressman Jim Costa.

There was even speculation that the number could have been higher if Committee assignments had already been handed out. Apparently there was fear of retribution if they voted their conscience. In a secret vote of the House Democratic Caucus held this past November, Rep. Health Shuler of North Carolina collected 43 votes, compared to the 11 he received yesterday.

All this is enough to make you wonder: is this really the person you want to throw your weight behind in 2012? Do you really want to sell voters, who overwhelmingly dislike her, on the desire to bring her back? Apparently that’s the DCCC’s plan. Best of luck with that.

by Brandon Greife, Political Director of the College Republican National Committee