To the dismay of many, Nancy Pelosi announced her decision to run for House Minority Leader days after her Party received one of history’s biggest “shellackings.” Unfortunately, the now far more liberal Democratic Party composition is likely to embrace her as their leader, thus giving Republicans another round of anti-Pelosi ads for 2012. While President Obama and Harry Reid may recover from the extremist liberal tag bestow upon them by GOP candidates over the last two years due to a few policy choices, Nancy Pelosi cannot. After all, she is a true liberal; whereas, Obama and Reid can work from the middle.
Whether an individual agrees with the policies Nancy Pelosi pursued or not, she certainly knew how to get the votes, even when those votes were sure to have political repercussions. In fact, she was able to rally her House colleagues in the face of continual failures in the Senate. In a time when Republican leaders decided they were going to block even the most basic and essential pieces of legislation, including emergency measures Democrats would normally reject, Nancy got the votes. Consequently, it is perfectly understandably why she would feel deserving of the Minority Leader position and the support that comes with it, but pride is a killer in politics.
Unfortunately, Nancy Pelosi has become a political liability and she will hurt her Party’s chance in the near future. Quite frankly, Nancy Pelosi cannot be nor can she be in line to become the next House Speaker, if Democrats want to maintain their presence in the Congress and the White House after 2012. Although Congresswoman Pelosi would likely use her position as Minority Leader to protect the major legislative accomplishments of the last two years, the greatest treat to Healthcare Reform and Financial Regulatory Reform will come after the next two years. As long as Barack Obama is President, repeal of these reforms can only come after 2012, or 2016.
Consequently, the most effective thing Nancy Pelosi can do to protect Healthcare Reform, Financial Regulatory Reform, and her other accomplishments would be to stay out of the spotlight. Because she will be a lightening rod in upcoming elections, this likely means giving up her formal position as the most powerful Democrat in the House. If it were somehow possible, and acceptable, for her to become Democratic Whip, she would at least be giving Obama and Reid a small chance to protect reforms in the upcoming election. Certainly, Nancy Pelosi can continue to represent her district at the favor of her constituents, but the Nation has largely rejected her brand of leadership; the Democrats would be wise to listen.