The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

November 17, 2010
Pelosi: I'm not to blame, I'm still effective

More than a few Republicans ran against her as much as their actual opponent. But Nancy Pelosi is still refusing to take the blame for the devastating Election Day for congressional Democrats.

Pelosi, the House speaker until January, was chosen today by fellow Democrats to be House minority leader in the next Congress, when Republicans will be in control.

At a press conference afterwards, Pelosi pointedly deflected any notion that the fact that 60-plus House Democrats lost on Nov. 2 suggests that voters sent the message they want new party leaders.

"The message we received from the American people was that they want a job -- they want jobs; 9.5% unemployment is a very tough screen to get through with any other message," she said.

When it was pointed out that in one recent poll, her approval rating among independents is an abysmal 8 percent, she again blamed high joblessness - plus the barrage of attack ads against her.

"How would your ratings be if $75 million were spent against you?" she asked.

Pelosi won on a 150-43 vote in closed session against a more conservative Democrat, Heath Shuler of North Carolina. While moderates said the party needed a new leader and weren't listening to voters, liberals and left-wing interest groups urged her to stay.

She insisted she can still be effective -- as she was in passing health care and financial reform.

Indeed, Pelosi vowed that her leadership team will rally Democrats to victory in 2012 and that she is "the person that can attract the resources, both intellectual and otherwise, to take us to victory because I have done it before."

If that happens, she will likely be speaker again. And she'd get the last laugh.

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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