“I do not believe what happened the other night is a wave,” Pelosi said in her first sit-down interview since Democrats lost a dozen House seats to Republicans on Nov. 4. “There was no wave of approval for the Republicans. I wish them congratulations, they won the election, but there was no wave of approval for anybody. There was an ebbing, an ebb tide, for us.”
As for whether she would consider stepping down as minority leader, Pelosi said she’s needed now more than ever.
“Quite frankly, if we would have won, I would have thought about leaving,” Pelosi declared, a remark that will likely surprise both admirers and detractors.
Alternate headline: “Blogger now regrets GOP wave.”
What an odd stance for a leader of a caucus to take. If anything, you’d think Pelosi would be invested in pushing the opposite position. If Democrats lost due to ebbing public support rather than to a swell of good vibes for the GOP, it must be because the people in charge of the Democratic Party have steered it into a ditch. Annnd who’s been steering the House Democratic caucus for the past 10 years? She and her pal Barack have managed an amazing feat: For the first time in a decade, even the broadly unpopular GOP is several points more popular than Democrats are.
So huge is the GOP’s advantage in the House now after six years of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid that Democrats likely won’t have a shot at reclaiming a majority until 2022 at the earliest, when Pelosi will be 82. (A month ago, she was aiming to retake the House by 2016. Heh.) And don’t think her own caucus doesn’t hold her partly responsible. They’re quietly looking around for someone to replace her, even though she’s expected to run again for minority leader and win. Frustrated Dems reportedly want her to expand her inner circle to include new voices, but one key legacy of Obama and Pelosi after ObamaCare is that there are many fewer Democratic voices left to include. The party’s been wiped out in purple districts; in desperation, John Barrow framed himself as an anti-Pelosi Democrat in running for reelection this year (not the only member of the caucus to do so either) and lost anyway. How many more don’t-call-it-a-waves will it take to move her on into retirement?