When Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan stepped up to challenge Nancy Pelosi as the leader of House Democrats, we honestly believed the Dems would seize the opportunity to turn a new leaf.
Ryan, a 43-year-old from Ohio, spoke of reconnecting with Middle America and blamed “our current leadership” for the party’s electoral losses over the past six years.
Pelosi’s supporters agreed that they must make an effort to reconnect with “flyover” states, but blamed the party’s current problems on WikiLeaks, Hillary’s failures, and the gerrymandering of congressional districts.
“When Hillary Clinton came to my hometown of Toledo, Ohio, and stood at the busiest Amtrak terminal in Ohio, she did not speak about her infrastructure bill,” laments Rep Marcy Kaptur (D-OH). “She talked about Warren Buffet…Most people in my district don’t even know who he is.”
The final vote was Pelosi 134 – Ryan 63, the closest anyone has come to beating Pelosi since she took the throne in 2003.
Ryan didn’t seem overly upset about the loss, but suggested that he would rather pursue the position of Ohio Governor than continue on in Congress. “You know, we made a few enemies, we cracked a few eggs along the way, but you know, [you] can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs,” he said.
Ryan’s campaign did manage to force some changes, however, and Pelosi has promised to give younger members a bigger say in the decision making process.
“This is a time, I think, that we need someone who is battle-tested. And there is no stronger battle-tested person than Nancy Pelosi,” said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD).
The Dems also voted to keep Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) as minority whip and Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-SC) as assistant leader – a lineup that hasn’t changed in ten years.
Pelosi told the press that she had a “special spring” in her step after Wednesday’s vote, and told her colleagues that she is confident in her party’s future. “We know how to win elections,” she said. “We’ve done it in the past. We will do it again.”
The RNC is more than disappointed with Wednesday’s vote. “This year, voters went to the polls and made a bold statement for change in Washington, but House Democrats just doubled down on the status quo,” said the committee.
“The American people have been trying to send the Democrat Party a message by selecting historic numbers of Republicans for office at nearly every level of government, but Nancy Pelosi’s re-election shows Democrats aren’t listening.”