It wasn’t that long ago that Nancy Pelosi was confidently predicting a big win for House Democrats in the midterms. As Politico reminds us:
…she insisted in July that Democrats were going to win 25 seats and take back the House.
As Congress adjourned in September, Pelosi was still claiming that Democrats had a “60 percent” chance of winning the House, even when all the polls said the exact opposite. “The momentum is coming our way,” Pelosi said at the time.
With the reality of the election outcome rearing its ugly head for Pelosi’s party, Democrats in the House over which the California congresswoman once presided now control fewer seats than they have in some 80 years. And with a handful of congressional races still up for grabs, the GOP’s margin of dominance could increase even further.
Still, Pelosi is not bowed. As the 74-year-old prepares to run for another term as Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, she sat down with reporters for politico.com in her first extensive post-election interview.
Some might find her take on the election as off the mark and out of touch with facts on the ground as was her prediction that the House would once again be under her control.
Pelosi’s take on the midterms is this: It wasn’t a Republican wave, her party’s message is fine and while President Barack Obama thinks Democrats need to play better politics, she believes Democrats just need to better engage voters.
In the politico.com interview, Pelosi echoed the sentiments that Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz expressed in her post-election video to the party faithful.
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Despite the overwhelming GOP victories across the electoral board — even though Pelosi insisted it wasn’t a wave election — and despite the clear voter sentiment that Obama-driven Democrat policies and programs were rejected and repudiated, Pelosi continues to insist that her progressive agenda is the right one.
This president has accomplished many great things,” Pelosi said of the president. “You know there is always an October eclipse. We couldn’t catch a break.”
Instead, Pelosi faulted a series of international crises — fighting in Ukraine, the terrorist group ISIL and the deadly outbreak of Ebola — for distracting the media and voters from Democrats’ economic message.
However, that “economic message” for which Pelosi seems to be expressing such pride certainly didn’t resonate with voters who saw through the hype and were reacting to hard facts, as newsbusters.org notes:
Nearly half of voters said the economy was the most important issue to them this election, and 70 percent of voters said the economy was “not so good or poor,” according to National Election Pool exit polls reported by The Washington Post.
The former speaker also says she will stay on in the House to fight against those who would try to dismantle or destroy ObamaCare — no surprise there as Pelosi has always been an outspoken and unbending champion for the law.
But in what may come as a surprise to both her defenders and her detractors, Nancy Pelosi said she would consider leaving the chamber where she has served for some four decades only if the Democrats had taken back control.
“Quite frankly, if we would have won, I would have thought about leaving.”
Photo credit: Nancy Pelosi (Flickr)