The list of Democrats expressing frustration with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has been growing longer in recent weeks, but don’t expect to see former President Barack Obama’s name on it.
At a party fundraising event Friday afternoon in Northern California, Obama spoke highly of Pelosi – and even predicted that she will return to the job of House speaker after November’s midterm elections.
“I think everybody knows how much I love Nancy Pelosi,” Obama told the gathering at a home in affluent Atherton, Politico reported.
"Nancy, I believe, is one of the greatest speakers we ever had, and will once again be one of the greatest speakers we ever have after we get through this cycle," he continued. “And there's not much I could have gotten done without having Nancy there alongside of me every step of the way.”
"Nancy, I believe, is one of the greatest speakers we ever had, and will once again be one of the greatest speakers we ever have after we get through this cycle."
But less than two weeks ago, Politico reported that at least 20 challengers running in Democratic primaries have been openly dismissive of Pelosi’s leadership.
In addition, a group of incumbent Democrats – including U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins of New York and Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania – say they won’t back Pelosi for another term as party leader.
"Our leadership is out of touch with what is going on, not only in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan but in Cheektowaga, West Seneca, Hamburg, Orchard Park and Lancaster," Higgins told the Buffalo News, referring to swing states that voted for Donald Trump in 2016, as well as municipalities near Buffalo.
"Our leadership is out of touch with what is going on ... in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan ... "
Perhaps the biggest blow to Pelosi’s future prospects occurred last Tuesday in New York City, when 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated longtime U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley, 56, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.
To many political watchers, it suggested that Democratic voters have grown tired of the party’s old guard and want a new generation of leaders.
But Pelosi quickly dismissed Ocasio-Cortez’s upset victory as a “one district” fluke – a comment that may serve only to further inspire the younger, more far-left candidates seeking to move on Pelosi and her contemporaries.
The event where Obama spoke was co-hosted by Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and held at the home of Liz Simons and Mark Heising, who head the philanthropic Heising-Simons Foundation.
It was part of a three-stop Obama fundraising tour in California, which included an event in Beverly Hills on Thursday night.