Many House liberals support her. But a number of rank-and-file Democrats, including some left of center, are dismayed. They note that dozens of Republican House candidates ran campaigns linking their Democratic opponents to Pelosi, who was portrayed as a hardcore liberal hopelessly out of touch with middle American values.
“She definitely hurts,” said Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., who lost his re-election bid this month. Citing former Republican House leader Tom DeLay, Taylor said in an interview: “When he realized he was a drag on leadership, he went away. Somehow the Democratic leadership didn’t learn that lesson.”
But Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., called Tuesday’s session cathartic. “It’s what the Democratic Party’s about,” he said. “There are ideological differences, there are regional differences, and it was a good thing for people to be able to talk through that.”
Pelosi pronounced Tuesday’s long session “wonderful,” then hurried past reporters.