Today Speaker Pelosi let it be known she would seek to remain as Leader of the House Democratic Caucus come the new Congress in January. I applaud this decision. Keeping Ms. Pelosi as House Democratic Caucus Leader is the smartest move members of that caucus could make. Her tenacity speaks for itself. It's a needed commodity to lead in Washington. But, there are also other, core reasons her leadership is needed more than ever.
- Republicans pretty much say it all. Why would they spend millions and millions demonizing Ms. Pelosi? Because she's ineffective? Because she can't move legislation? Because she's poor at politics or governing? Did they spend millions blasting her because she's not a thorn in their side? Exactly. They don't want her as House Democratic Leader because she is effective, moves legislation, knows her politics, and can govern. Nancy Pelosi is a thorn in the side of reactionaries who want to move us, at high speed, back to the past.
- Nancy Pelosi can hold the Democratic Caucus together. I worked for Speaker Pelosi for several years, serving as her liaison, internally, with the Blue Dog Democrats and, externally, to America's military veterans, rural Americans, and faith communities. Prior to joining her team I was the Chief of Staff for a Blue Dog Member of Congress. The best way for me to articulate my experience is that I learned a lot about sticking to ones convictions while keeping a diverse group moving forward. In the new Congress, her skills will be desperately needed to hold the line. Her convictions to core Democratic principles are without question.
- Speaker Pelosi can raise resources -- a required commodity in winning elections like it or not. And, Nancy Pelosi can raise the resources needed. Again, this is really indisputable. Her fundraising ability is nearly unprecedented, especially within the House Democratic Caucus. Also unprecedented has been her desire, vision and willingness to use those resources well where they are needed. Not holding it but moving it. And in doing so moving forward the issues and causes that we are about as Democrats.
- She has the winning strategy. The Speaker likes to coach her colleagues that if you take a swipe at someone then be prepared to receive one right back. The opposing party may want to consider the ramifications of that in the coming months! She also teaches that when you are about to do something tell your constituents what you are going to do, then tell them while you are doing it and, finally, tell them you did it once you have finished. Get the message out ... and be transparent. I've witnessed and been part of moments when legislation seemed lost and it wasn't the staff and strategists in the room who developed and, literally, carried out the plan overcoming the obstacles and passing the legislation. It was the Speaker. Nancy Pelosi has the winning strategy.
Under the leadership of Nancy Pelosi, Democrats have introduced and passed historic legislation such as health care reform, the largest single increase in veterans' benefits in American history, women's rights initiatives, Wall Street reform, and, lest we forget, cutting taxes for 95 percent of the American people and millions of small businesses.
Nancy Pelosi puts working and middle class Americans first. Yes, the Republicans definitely wanted to demonize her. They don't want her around. We need her leadership.
I talk often about narrative. I lament, that as Democrats, we too often miss the essential, foundational step of sharing our narrative with the American people. We jump to discussing programs, touting macro numbers and ... well ... we end up sounding like Beltway policy wonks. Sharing our narrative is about telling our story and connecting around the coffee table on common issues and shared values. It's then, and only then, that we can share our policy, plans, and legislation.
Speaker Pelosi is a living narrative of American values ... from her Italian Catholic upbringing in Baltimore to the stories of family who fought for our freedoms (including an uncle who gave his life at the Battle of the Bulge during World War Il). Today, she is devout person of faith who treasures a family who treasures her back. She's a grandmother who is only a thought or two away from telling of the latest events in the lives of her grandchildren. Speaker Pelosi's belief and unabashed support for working and middle class families comes out of her own great American story.
Yep, she's the right person to keep leading the House Democrats.