Battle lines are emerging in the House Democratic Caucus over Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) possible bid to stay on as the minority leader.She's got the devoted support from the lunatic wing of the party.
Liberal Democrats are mobilizing in support of Pelosi remaining at the head of the party in the 112th Congress, while some centrists said she should step aside in the wake of the party's loss of around 60 House seats in Tuesday's election.
The growing fault line comes as Pelosi weighs the options in her political future. She has begun reaching out to members to gauge whether she enjoys enough support to stay as the Democratic leader.
"Democrats tend to be more kind to our leader when they have a loss," said Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), the longest-serving member of the House, on Detroit's WJR Radio. "She can run and probably get elected. I think she has a good chance of doing that."
Outside liberal groups are already organizing support for Pelosi before she makes a decision. Americans United for Change launched an e-mail campaign on Friday encouraging supporters to "send a personal note to Speaker Pelosi about how much you appreciate her leadership," and to "make sure she knows that we still support her."Meanwhile, sane Democrats seeking survival in 2012 are looking toward the center. Good luck with that, fellas.
The liberal website Daily Kos started a similar online petition.
Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.), a conservative Democrat and another longtime critic of Pelosi, said he "cannot in good conscience" support her as minority leader, and would support a more conservative Democrat instead.Now for a heartwarming look at internecine warfare.
Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) and Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah), the co-chairman of the Blue Dog Democrats, have also said that Pelosi should step aside, joining the other incumbent Democrats and candidates who had said they would oppose Pelosi as Speaker if Democrats had retained their majority status, during the closing weeks of the campaign.