Pelosi Radioactive in... California?

It’s no surprise when a Southern Democrat in a GOP-leaning seat – someone like Parker Griffith – runs like a scalded dog from Nancy Pelosi. Indeed, if Democrats hold a narrow edge in the House after the 2010 elections – a genuine possibility – they will nervously count the Blue Dogs to see how many will withhold votes from Pelosi.

But it should be surprising that even Democrats in California are trying to distance themselves from her:

Rep. Dennis Cardoza said Tuesday that he’s pushing the Obama administration to emphasize job creation, especially in the San Joaquin Valley where the unemployment rate in some areas is at Great Depression-era levels.

“Really, what we need now is jobs. We need people to be put back to work,” said Cardoza, D-Merced. “Twenty percent unemployment is not a sustainable situation…”

Cardoza, along with House Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, spent an hour with The Modesto Bee and Merced Sun-Star editorial boards discussing the decision not to hold town hall meetings, health care reform, the economy and America’s two wars…

Hoyer’s visit highlights Cardoza’s pull in Washington at a time when he’s facing critics at home. It’s also notable that he didn’t invite Pelosi, who could have tarnished his reputation as a Blue Dog, a fiscally conservative Democrat.

Cardoza’s district lies within the San Francisco market – where Pelosi has been universally known for decades. She is one of the most powerful Speakers in recent memory – known for her ability to deliver for her friends. If Cardoza would rather appear with her obscure lieutenant – from Maryland, of all places – it says a lot about her reputation in Merced.

Further, it sounds as if you can put Cardoza down as another ‘no’ on the Obama agenda – at least if he knows what’s good for him. After all, a man smart enough to keep his distance from Pelosi seems likely to be smart enough to stay away from the job-killing bills she’s pushing.

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