Pelosi Makes Her Move: How Her ‘Transitional Speaker’ Pitch Would Work | NTK Network Pelosi Makes Her Move: How Her ‘Transitional Speaker’ Pitch Would Work

Pelosi Makes Her Move: How Her ‘Transitional Speaker’ Pitch Would Work

Nancy Pelosi wants to be Speaker of the House, but she knows she’s lost the support of many House Democrats. Now she has a plan to hold on to power a little while longer. Will it work?

By NTK Staff | 10.23.2018 @11:00am
Pelosi Makes Her Move: How Her ‘Transitional Speaker’ Pitch Would Work

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) knows she’s in trouble. Sixty-three Democrats voted for her opponent, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) during the last House Democrat leadership contest, and a whole slew of House candidates have pledged they will do the same.

Pelosi, 78, wants the gavel back, but that means Democrats will have to pick up 23 seats in the November midterms, and a majority of Democrats will need to vote for her to be the top Democrat once again. Those are no small feats.

To solve the latter problem, Pelosi has proposed a “transitional Speaker” proposal that strikes a bargain with skeptical Democrats: vote for Pelosi for Speaker in 2018, and she’ll “consider stepping down at the end of the next Congress.”

But not everyone is buying it.

“We don’t need transitional leadership; we need new leadership,” Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas) said Monday in a phone call. “And we need to have new leadership from the beginning, when we get back in January.”

And Vela is not the only Democrat balking at Pelosi’s offer:

“It’s time for new leadership, and that has to happen [in January], or else we’re going to lose the majority that we’ll hopefully have,” said Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), who told The Hill he wasn’t satisfied by Pelosi’s “transitional” offer.

“She should have done that a long time ago. That’s not gonna cut the mustard,” he added. “She will say anything to stay in leadership at this point.”

Still, the best thing going in Pelosi’s favor is the fact that her lengthy tenure at the top of the House Democrats’ food chain has prompted early exits from several would-be successors: Chris Van Hollen, Xavier Becerra, Steve Israel, and most recently Joe Crowley, who lost his June primary to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Instead, her top lieutenants are both septuagenarians like her: Steny Hoyer is 79, while James Clyburn is 78.

Pelosi’s “transitional” proposition is a risky one, but given the mood among Democrats today, it might be the only option she has left.

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