No one should be terribly surprised. Supporting Nancy Pelosi is practically the only job function Betty McCollum has in Congress. During a debate this week, her Republican challenger Teresa Collett criticized McCollum’s ties to the Speaker of the House, saying that it showed that McCollum had no interest in providing an independent voice for Minnesota’s Fourth CD. McCollum responded by claiming that Pelosi is … a consensus maker?
Collett also tried to tie McCollum to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling Pelosi, and by extension McCollum, too liberal.
McCollum, however, praised Pelosi’s ability to get disparate voices to find common ground.
“I’m going to support a leader who brings people together to move this country forward.” McCollum said.
Er … sure. Pelosi certainly put those skills on display in the Porkulus bill, where she refused to allow Republicans into the bill-writing process. Pelosi also demonstrated her openness to finding common ground when she bulldozed the ostensibly pro-life Democrats into capitulation on the ObamaCare bill when they wanted a restoration of Bart Stupak’s language prohibiting federal funding of abortions. Pelosi has a well-earned reputation for partisan absolutism, one that has made her unpopular within her own caucus and has other Democrats trying to distance themselves from her in their elections.
But what else was McCollum going to say? McCollum votes in lockstep with Pelosi, so any attempt to distance herself from the Speaker would be futile. Furthermore, McCollum has done nothing except carry Pelosi’s water on Capitol Hill. She sits on the budget committee that, despite having a 77-seat Democratic majority in the full House, has yet to produce even a budget resolution. The best McCollum can do is tie herself to Pelosi and hope to keep her head above water.
MN-04 is usually a safe enough district for McCollum to survive without bothering to provide an independent voice, or even do the basics of her job; Cook has it as a D+13. That may not be safe enough this year, though, and MN-04 voters may not want to provide San Francisco with a second Representative at the expense of Minnesota.