How Nancy Pelosi Could Hold On

But would it be good for the Dems?

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Nancy Pelosi may defy expectations and try to hold onto her job as leader of House Democrats despite losing 60 members Tuesday. Pelosi is "methodically calling every Democratic House member who won on Tuesday, as well as many who lost," ABC New's Jonathan Karl reports. Her allies say she's the only one who can unify her caucus's lefties and raise tons of campaign cash. Although Blue Dogs are urging Pelosi to step down, those more conservative Democrats were demolished on election day.

  • Dems Can't Afford to Lose Her, Patricia Murphy reports at Politics Daily. "In addition to the loyalty from the left, Pelosi supporters point to her vast fundraising network, her history building the House majority in 2006, her goodwill among liberal interest groups, and her mastery of the redistricting process, which Democrats will face next cycle, as the reasons she may be a leader they cannot afford to lose." On top of that, Murphy writes, Pelosi's allies say she "should not be the only Democrat to lose her leadership post, when the blame for the election results also belongs to the flailing economy, President Obama's sagging popularity, and everybody who pushed the Democratic agenda. 'The president and his aides aren't going anywhere. Harry Reid isn't leaving,' said a Democratic strategist. "'She's the only one who goes?'"
  • Optics Are a Big Problem, Politico's Jonathan Allen and John Bresnahan write. Democrats say Pelosi now ranks with Lyndon Johnson as one of the most powerful congressional Democrats in history, and she could easily win the fight to keep her job. "But even some of her advocates worry about the optics of the Democratic Party keeping its top leader in place after an electoral loss that President Barack Obama referred to as a 'shellacking.' ... Some Democrats ask how she could possibly hope to be a recruiter for party candidates in swing districts after Republicans successfully hammered Democratic incumbents across the country by running ads featuring Pelosi."
  • Why Listen to Blue Dogs? John Cole asks at Balloon Juice. "Just to recap, the bluedog coalition was summarily rejected by the voters on Tuesday, and were annihilated, and even Joe Klein will admit they lost because of their own stupidity. The progressive caucus, on the other hand is alive and kicking, with perhaps only three losses. So obviously, the emaciated blue dogs should come out and start dictating what the majority of the caucus should and should not do."
  • She Was Right to Ram Through Health Care, William Saletan argues at Slate. "Politicians have tried and failed for decades to enact universal health care. This time, they succeeded. In 2008, Democrats won the presidency and both houses of Congress, and by the thinnest of margins, they rammed a bill through. They weren't going to get another opportunity for a very long time. It cost them their majority, and it was worth it," Saletan writes. "And that's not counting financial regulation, economic stimulus, college lending reform, and all the other bills that became law under Pelosi. So spare me the tears and gloating about her so-called failure. If John Boehner is speaker of the House for the next 20 years, he'll be lucky to match her achievements."
  • Great News for Conservatives, Allahpundit observes at Hot Air. "I’m sitting here trying to figure out what strategic angle I might be missing in all this, because it strikes me as simply impossible that this dead weight might actually be retained as the face of the Democratic House caucus. ... To put it in perspective, Palin’s favorables with Democrats  are roughly the same as Pelosi’s are with independents. And yet here they are, all set to crown Nancy as the once and future leader of the pack. We can’t possibly be this lucky."
  • GOP Would Have a Hard Time Casting Her as the Villain, Outside the Beltway's James Joyner writes. "AllahPundit  terms this 'Great, great news.' Aside from being a brand name, though, I’m not sure Pelosi would be much use as a lightning rod in the minority.  It’s not like the Senate, where crafty opposition leaders can tie legislation up in knots.  Her ability to 'get it done' will be nonexistent."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.