Report: Challengers Closely Eying Pelosi’s Leadership Post | NTK Network Report: Challengers Closely Eying Pelosi’s Leadership Post

Report: Challengers Closely Eying Pelosi’s Leadership Post

Joe Crowley, a New York congressman, is doing “everything possible” to ensure he’s the top choice among Democrats, should Pelosi and her elderly leadership fall short.

By NTK Staff | 04.17.2018 @10:00am
Report: Challengers Closely Eying Pelosi’s Leadership Post

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has made it clear that she has no plans to retire. Whether that’s true, or just a ploy to keep the Democratic rank-and-file in Congress at bay, there is one incontrovertible truth: she’s 78 years old, and her leadership team (Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), 78 and Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), 77) is no younger.

Meanwhile, a whole trove of younger Democrats are clamoring for new leadership. That unrest first showed itself immediately after the 2016 elections, when Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) challenged Pelosi for the top Democrat post in the House. Pelosi won (and called Ryan’s effort “pathetic”), but many Democrats cheered Ryan on.

“One-third of the members of this caucus had the courage to come out and say we needed a change, and I congratulate all of them,” Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) told reporters after Ryan’s loss in November 2016.

But today, Pelosi has a new threat. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), the Queens native who serves as chair of the House Democratic Caucus, is said to be eyeing Democrats’ top spot in the House, should Pelosi and her leadership team fall short.

According to 30 Democratic lawmakers who spoke to Politico, “it’s no secret” that Crowley “is doing everything possible to position himself for if and when there’s a shakeup at the top.”

But if the top job opens up — either because Democrats lose and Pelosi decides to retire, or they win but she doesn’t have the 218 votes to be speaker — Crowley’s allies say they’re confident he would pounce. Having to take on his once-close ally Hoyer or someone else wouldn’t inhibit Crowley, they said.

Lawmakers eager for change see Crowley, who is the No.4 leader in the Democratic ranks and at least 20 years younger than the top three, as their best chance to break the decade-plus leadership logjam. But Crowley passed on a chance to shake up the status quo in 2016 after a group of members urged him to run against Pelosi. And there’s no guarantee this time will be any different.

Still, the Democrats’ elderly trio at the top of the leadership ladder seem unlikely to budge, particularly Hoyer and Clyburn. “I’m not planning on retirement and I’m not stepping aside for anybody,” Clyburn told Politico.

That could create an ugly leadership fight just after the 2018 midterms.

Sign Up

for NTK updates every week.

View Privacy Policy