Demoralized Democrats in Washington are arraigning the circular firing squad in the wake of their disastrous performance in the 2016 elections.
This includes longtime Democrat head honcho in the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
According to sources, Pelosi is facing a leadership challenge for the first time since the wake of the 2010 midterms.
Ohio Representative Tim Ryan is gauging interest in a challenge to the long time Democrat House boss while other powerful members of the Democratic caucus are urging a delay in the balloting for leadership positions to allow for “reckoning” with historic losses in recent elections.
Ryan is from a district in the Upper Midwest where traditional Democratic Party voters abandoned Hillary Clinton in droves. His candidacy is expected to highlight the abandonment of these types of middle class voters.
“This was not my thing. I never had any intention of running for a leadership position,” Ryan said in an interview Monday evening. He said he began considering it after hearing from a couple dozen members over the weekend urging him to launch a bid.
Ryan’s spokesman, Michael Zetts, added that the Democrat “understands that many members are deeply concerned about the future of the Democratic Party and caucus. He watched many traditional Democrats leave our party and he is concerned that if changes aren’t made we will be in the political wilderness for many years to come.”
Perhaps more concerning for Pelosi is the growing sentiment among powerful backbenchers to delay the leadership vote. A quick vote would favor Pelosi and her cronies because it would give insurgents little time to scare up potential challengers.
Ryan’s potential candidacy comes as another group of House Democrats is seeking to postpone Thursday’s leadership elections. More than 30 Democrats have signed a letter requesting a delay, said Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.).
The members are not supporting Ryan’s candidacy, though the twin efforts highlight the disquiet within Democratic ranks.
Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) said he’s in favor of delaying the elections and sent a separate letter saying so.
“Personally, I think there’s growing support for this,” Larson said.
Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) also told Pelosi last weekend that he thinks she should push back the leadership vote and that he still feels that way.
Some Democrats want to shake up the processes inside the Democratic caucus such as holding votes for the fundraising position of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair or to enforce term limits on committee chairs.
The term limit proposal would likely face strong resistance from the Congressional Black Caucus since many of their members have amassed seniority and hold key committee positions by virtue of length of service in the House.