The bipartisan deals on the CR and the debt have complicated Pelosi’s effort to win back the House because it is difficult to criticize Republicans for backing deals that Obama signed into law. Moreover, the presidential race will be center stage next year, and House Democrats have grumbled that Obama’s actions in 2011 clearly illustrate that winning back the House is not among his top priorities.
A growing number of liberal Democrats and policy groups say the White House has left Pelosi little choice through the budget debates. They’re blaming Obama’s deal-making style for undermining most of the leverage held by Pelosi and other House Democrats.
“Of all the Democratic leaders in the room, it’s a pretty safe bet that Nancy Pelosi is doing the most to exert leverage on behalf of progressive priorities,” Adam Green, head of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, said in an email. “That’s a bit tough to do, though, when the Democratic president has no idea how to fight or exert leverage, and is giving away the store.”