"There's a charm offensive underway": Pelosi makes stealth play for Speaker

Of the 43 Democratic candidates in districts that POLITICO rates “lean-Democrat,” “likely-Democrat” or “toss-up” — the swath of GOP-held seats most likely to flip — only 11 have said they would not back Pelosi for speaker. Of those 11, only four would confirm that they would vote against Pelosi on the House floor next year…

To ease her path, Pelosi has raised $6.7 million for “Red to Blue” candidates trying to oust GOP incumbents. She’s set up phone-banking and texting operations for one California House candidate who hasn’t clarified a position on her to lead the caucus. And she’s sent more than 30 of her staffers out to toss-up districts —including places where candidates have distanced themselves from Pelosi on the trail.

“There’s a charm offensive underway, and there’s a real effort on [Pelosi’s] part to reach out to these campaigns and offer help, even to those who seem to be distancing himself or flat out rejecting her,” said a senior Democratic aide. “They know what the political reality is.”

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