Nancy Pelosi is not a particularly popular at the moment—a Gallup poll released yesterday showed that 56 percent of Democrats don’t support her resuming her role as Speaker of the House. But now that Democrats control the House of Representatives, someone needs to do the job, and Pelosi and her allies are out to convince everyone that she’s their best bet.
Pelosi’s supporters are now rallying behind her candidacy for Speaker, and using her status as the highest-ranking woman in American political history as a reason to confirm her, Politico reports.
“I think it would look ridiculous if we win back the House… we have a pink wave with women who have brought back the House, then you’re going to not elect the leader who led the way? No,” Rep. Lois Frankel told the site. “That would be wrong.”
The idea that Pelosi was instrumental in winning back the House is arguable at best. She’s often been at odds with the Democratic base since Trump’s election, still preferring the idea of bipartisanship to dealing with the reality of countering an evil administration. But her fans—or at least those who received money from one of the organizations that supports her—don’t care.
Emily’s List President Stephanie Schriock and founder Ellen Malcolm have been making calls on Pelosi’s behalf to newly elected lawmakers, according to sources familiar with the whipping campaign. The group was instrumental in endorsing or financially supporting more than 63 female House candidates, including many who won last Tuesday but have expressed reservations about Pelosi.
“We have a president who is a misogynist, a president who has been antagonistic to women’s issues… There is no better person at the very top than Pelosi,” incoming Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas told Politico. Escobar was one of the candidates endorsed by Emily’s List. Lois Frankel was another.
Several top Democratic positions in the House have recently been filled by men, leaving Pelosi as possibly the sole woman to lead the chamber next year. The Senate, meanwhile, is still entirely controlled by men.
“If Hillary had won, I could go home,” Pelosi said in a recent TV interview with CBS. She said that a female president would ensure that “there’s a woman at the table.”
“You cannot have the four leaders of Congress [and] the president of the United States, these five people, and not have the voice of women,” Pelosi added. “Especially since women were the majority of the voters, the workers in campaigns, and now part of this glorious victory.”
Pelosi’s new position isn’t yet confirmed. About 10 of her members have said they will vote against her. If they keep to their pledge, Pelosi will need almost every other vote to secure her spot.
At a time when our president is an admitted sexual abuser, it’s entirely reasonable to argue that a woman should be the Speaker. But that’s not the same as saying it has to be Pelosi.