House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is accustomed to an unchallenged party election, but she’s going to face a bit of opposition this time around. Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan is challenging Pelosi for the leadership position, arguing that the time has come for the Democratic Party to embrace a “new message and a new messenger.”
While Pelosi is widely expected to prevail yet again, Ryan has more than a few Democrats on his side. “We’re making a hell of a run at this thing,” he said on Sunday.
“People are saying, ‘Look, this has been a change election. We want change,’” Ryan said. “And there are a lot of members of Congress who now are understanding that we need to make a change.”
That most House Democrats are going back to Pelosi is pretty extraordinary when you think about it. Nevermind the disaster that was the 2016 election, the Democrats haven’t had the House majority since 2010. When are they going to wake up and realize the country is rejecting the party’s current direction?
According to Ryan, the problem lies in the economy. He is calling for House Democrats to embrace a “robust, economic message” that can win back the Rust Belt voters who went for Donald Trump this year. He said he was optimistic about getting his fellow congressmen to try a new path.
“I think they understand that this is about having a new message and a new messenger and be able to reach those folks,” Ryan said. “They know that if we don’t get the middle of the country, that we’re never going to be back in the majority.”
We’ll see if they really understand that or not in the coming months. Many of the Democrats appear ready to dig in their heels and turn their party into a singular STOP TRUMP organization. Others think it’s time to double down on identity politics and far-left economic policies. If saner heads prevail, we might actually get to see the Democratic Party ease back into reality in the age of Trump.
For a while, anyway.