The meeting, which began at noon, stretched on for hours after the caucus passed a resolution allowing first defeated members and then returning lawmakers to address their colleagues for five minutes apiece. Staffers were kicked out of the meeting.
While many Democrats offered kind words, thanks and support for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), defeated Reps. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.), Travis Childers (D-Miss.) and Bill Foster (Ill.) called for new leadership, lawmakers said.
Boyd told The Hill that leaving Pelosi as the public face of the caucus would undermine candidate recruitment efforts in 2012.
“I don’t know how you recruit for some of these seats,” said Boyd. “How are you going to recruit somebody to run — a moderate, Blue Dog Democrat — to run down there? Can’t do it.”