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Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hands the speaker's gavel to incoming House Speaker John Boehner after Boehner was elected Speaker on the opening day of the 112th United States Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 5, 2011. Republicans are t
She's going to get it back.
On Monday, Nancy Pelosi sat down with a group of new media reporters for a wide-ranging discussion, including how the nation is better off than it was four years ago, and the truth-challenged Romney/Ryan campaign. All that makes her optimistic about the Democrats' prospects for taking back the House.

Speaker Pelosi project bug
[W]e have outraised, out-redistricted, out-recruited the Republicans. I take a little more credit than I should for the recruitment because many of these people self-recruited. They just saw what was happening to our country and said, "I'm not going to let this happen. And I want to be part of the solution." [...]

Some of the places where the polls are looking so good for us are not even on our original map of priorities, so Steve Israel is saying, "I can't even believe some of the polls that we're getting from places that are not even our priority races." And that bodes very well for our priority races. So we think we can get into the 30s. I want 35. I'm willing to say we'll win 35 to net more than 25. But we feel very good.

Now, having said that, they're all close. They're close. These races are close. In one poll that just came out—the Democracy Corps poll—had in the 27 marginal Republican district—in 27 of the difficult Republican districts, difficult for the Republicans—in 27 of those races, by name, the Democrat was around 6 points ahead of the Republicans. That's 27. [...] Twenty-seven. Six points ahead. So we see the makings of it.

Listen to the whole discussion on how Pelosi plans to get the House back.
Goal Thermometer
Nancy Pelosi can envision the speaker's gavel back in her hands, and she sees the specific path for getting there, as you can see in the extended transcript that's below the fold. That's through taking back at 27 seats in districts held by Republicans, but where President Obama won in 2008. Then there are the pick-ups in seats where the unvetted freshman Republicans are "ethically challenged." It's picking up seats in the big states: California, New York, Illinois and Texas. And it's working hard in all the other states to back the strong candidates in states across the map.

That's what we want to do with the Speaker Pelosi Project: find the progressive candidates in the winnable districts that will help Pelosi win her gavel back, and make the House be a functioning body of government again. And make John Boehner cry.

Help prove Nancy Pelosi right in her optimism. Please give $3 to each of our House candidates on the Speaker Pelosi Project page.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

Q: How bullish are you feeling on retaking the House? Some of your folks seem to think [you can], and others don't, so what do you think?

PELOSI: Well, I think those who think it are the ones who know what's going on, and that is that we have outraised, out-redistricted, out-recruited the Republicans. I take a little more credit than I should for the recruitment because many of these people self-recruited. They just saw what was happening to our country and said, "I'm not going to let this happen. And I want to be part of the solution." Many young people being part of the solution, and that's a beautiful thing because it's about the future, and the future belongs to the young.

But the—we have to have 25. You want to know how we're going to get them? Or is that more than you want to know? Because I don't know how interested in politics you all are. I wish that our chairman were here, Steve Israel. He does a magnificent job with this. I can tell you two ways, globally and then discreet. There are 63 seats which were held by Republicans that were won by President Obama. Of those 63 seats, 18 were also won by John Kerry. There are those who say, who count that as a team—we don't. We say, give them 6, we'll take 12 of the seats that were carried by Barack Obama and John Kerry in a presidential year. Of the 45 remaining, give them 30, give them two-thirds. I think that's generous, but this is the worst-case scenario. Give them 30, we'll take 15. Fifteen plus 12, 27.

Then there are districts where [garbled] and these people are ethically challenged and we believe we have an excellent chance to win those seats. People who really weren't vetted by the Republicans but who they're sticking by, but weren't vetted last term. We have to protect our own. We believe that any of the Democrats who could survive the year from hell for Democrats have a very good chance of winning again, especially with President Obama on the ticket. But we could lose a few. We have to be prepared for that.

But in all of that—now taking what I've said to you to the map. In four states, California—starting with California—New York, Illinois—the president won't be there because he's going to win those states. And Texas, where he's not going to be, because he's not going to win that state. So you have four big states that will account for us about half of what we need to win. Four big states, we're totally on our own, where we expect to win two or more seats. At least four in California—in California they tell me six or seven, in Illinois they say six, but say four, three, like that. New York, Texas. Texas we just won the redistricting fight, so depending on how that—what the next step is there, that could be two or three in Texas. Anyway, we figure around 12, around half of what we need.

Then you go to the onesy, twosy states. And that's Maryland, Washington state, Arizona, Iowa—oh, no don't count Iowa, because that's where the president is. All these other states where the president isn't are states where we're on our own, but we'll win. And in those states that takes us, like, to the high teens. That takes us to the high teens. Now we go where the president is. Florida. I don't know if you saw Kathy Castor here earlier. We can win a good—just depending on how things go at the top, we can win three or more seats there. Florida. Ohio. I'm not sure whether the president's in Pennsylvania or not, so I'll just put that aside for the moment. Iowa, I mentioned. Nevada. We'll win two seats in Nevada. So that takes us to the high—I didn't name all the states, but that takes us to the—New Hampshire—takes us to the high 20s.

Some of the places where the polls are looking so good for us are not even on our original map of priorities, so Steve Israel is saying, "I can't even believe some of the polls that we're getting from places that are not even our priority races." And that bodes very well for our priority races. So we think we can get into the 30s. I want 35. I'm willing to say we'll win 35 to net more than 25. But we feel very good.

Now, having said that, they're all close. They're close. These races are close. In one poll that just came out—the Democracy Corps poll—had in the 27 marginal Republican district—in 27 of the difficult Republican districts, difficult for the Republicans—in 27 of those races, by name, the Democrat was around 6 points ahead of the Republicans. That's 27. That was stunning to people because we don't do well in the Democracy poll, it's traditionally been a tough poll for Democrats because they want to know, I think, the worst-case scenario. So it's not been, like, oh, easy, straight. No, it's tough. Twenty-seven. Six points ahead. So we see the makings of it. The races are all close. You know, we lost the House by 250,000 votes last time. You would have thought it was 25 million or something, right? Two hundred fifty thousand. Eight hundred here, 200 here, 189 here. You know, those kinds of things. And then a few thousand in some of the districts. So these are close, and with the presidential—with President Obama on the ballot, that pulls out our base in a stronger way. So we feel pretty good about it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why does she get it back. Can't we give the gavel (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    revolted

    to somebody who might be more effective?

  •  The pic is deserving of a caption contest :) (4+ / 0-)

    Strange but not a stranger.

    by jnww on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 03:40:18 PM PDT

  •  Good place for the Dufus Brigade (13+ / 0-)

    If your district is secure, pick one here to help:

    Louie Gohmert(TX-01)v. Shirley McKellar
    Joe Wilson(SC-02)
    Joe Walsh (IL-08) v. Tammy Duckworth
    Steve King (IA-04) v. Christie Vilsack
    Michele Bachmann(MN-06) v. JIm Graves
    Tom Graves(GA-14) v. Daniel Grant
    Paul Broun(GA-10)
    John Culberson(TX-07) v. James CArgas
    Phil Gingrey(GA-11) v. PatrickThompson
    Frank Guinta(NH-01) v. Carol Shea-Porter
    Charles Bass(NH-02) v. Ann McLane Kuster
    Allen West(FL-18) v. Patrick Murphy
    Daniel Webster(FL-10) v. Val Demings
    Austin Scott(GA-08)
    Lou Barletta(PA-11) v. Dean Stilp
    Patrick McHenry(NC-10) v. Patsy Keever
    Chip Cravaack(MN-08) v. TBD
    Sean Duffy(WI-07) v. Pat Kreitlow
    Eric Cantor(VA-07) v. Wayne Powell
    Jeff Denham(CA-10) v. Jose Hernandez
    Steve Womack(AR-03) v. Ken Aden
    Steve Southerland(FL-02) v. Leonard Bembry
    Virginia Foxx(NC-05) v. Elizabeth Motsinger
    Joe Heck(NV-03) v. John Oceguera
    John Campbell(CA-45) v. Sukhee Kang
    Andy Harris (MD-01) v. Wendy Rosen
    Peter King (NY-02) v. Viviane Falcone
    Frank Lobiondo(NJ-02) v. Cassandra Shober
    Nan Hayworth (NY-18) v. Sean Patrick Maloney
    Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
    Mike Coffman (CO-06) v. Joe Miklosi
    Robert Dold (IL-10) v. Brad Schneider
    John Fleming (LA-04)v. TBD
    Diane Black (TN-06)v. TBD
    Marsha Blackburn (TN-07) v.TBD
    Justin Amash (MI-03) v. Steve Pestka
    Robert Hurt (VA-05) v. John Douglasss
    Don Young (AK) v. TBD
    Paul Ryan (WI-01) v. Rob Zerban
    Collin Peterson (MN-07) v. Lee Byberg (R)
    Renee Elmers (NC-02) v. Steve Wilkins
    Mike Rogers (MI-08) v. Lance Enderle
    Adrian Smith (NE-03) v. Mark Sullivan
    Vern Buchanan (FL-16) v. Keith Firzgerald
    John Sullivan (OK-01)v. Jim Bridenstine
    Scott Rigell (VA-02) v. Paul Hirschbiel
    Ann Marie Beurkle (NY-24) v. Dan Maffei
    Michael Grimm (Ny-11) v.Mark Murphy
    Tom Rooney (FL-17) v. William Bronson
    Paul Gosar (AZ-4) v. TBD
    Kerry Bentivolio (WI-11) v. Syed Taj

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 03:41:56 PM PDT

  •  any plan to include Julia Brownley in the (4+ / 0-)

    Speaker Pelosi project? She's progressive, in a very tough but winnable race, and would turn a red seat (formerly Elton Gallegly's CA-24, now CA-26) blue.

    Ice and certainty dissolve as we watch. Nothing else in politics matters. @RL_Miller

    by RLMiller on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 03:43:45 PM PDT

  •  I would like to Christie Vilsack added to it... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball, LSophia, Woody

    getting the vile Stevie King out of office would be great.

    •  Pelosi gave a hint here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Los Diablo

      She mentioned IA among the "onesey-twosey" states where she foresaw pickups, then said, oh, that's a state where Obama is.

      Obviously she sees a category of seats in the battleground states where an Obama victory will carry thru down ticket. Looks like she thinks IA will be one of those.

      Yes, getting Steve King out of office would be a great qualitative improvement in the House.

  •  2010 (6+ / 0-)

    Remember when the Republicans won back the House in 2010 promising to create jobs?  That was funny.

  •  This is very important because the D numbers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball, LSophia

    Do Not Look Good in the Senate. It is imperative that the Rs not end up with both houses of Congress in the next term, so this is something we all have to make work.

    •  I disagree. The senate looks quite good. Probably (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elmo, Woody

      52-54 majority (including 2 independents). Democratic gains in Maine, Mass., Holding Missouri and ND. Losing Nebraska, Wisconsin, and either Montana or Virginia. But Virginia is quite winnable, esp. as Obama seems getting stronger there.

      "A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere ". C. S. Lewis

      by TofG on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 04:18:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  VA Senate (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GReen4994, GoogleBonhoeffer, Woody

        going by your analysis, Dems will maintain 53-47 'cuz no way Kaine is losing to allen...way too soon to write off Tester in MT...and, IN is no sure thing for Mourdock who is very unpopular...also, don't ignore 2 very viable pickup opps. in AZ and NV...I have been calling it 54-46 or 55-45 for quite some time now...way too much negativism and hand wringing about the Senate races.. Obama will get much stronger as Romney wilts from the debates and Obama's coat tails get much longer. The bottom line is that the repugs. have such lousy candidates in IN, MT, ND, AZ and elsewhere that they can't imagine the shit hitting the fan on 11/6 but it will...BIG TIME.

  •  little traitors (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball, True North, LSophia, Woody

    Hope lots of the baggers who signed the "no new taxes" pledge get kicked out.  The pledge is in violation of their oath to the Constitution.  If that's not treason, sure looks like treason's little brother.

  •  Retaking the House... (6+ / 0-)

    would be a dream come true.  

    Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you ~ C.G. Jung

    by JClarkPDX on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 03:49:54 PM PDT

  •  From your mouth to God's ears (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball, LSophia, elmo, tofumagoo

    Madam Speaker! Word of advice Ms. Pelosi...when that asshole Boehner hands that ridiculously oversized gavel back to you, swing away!

  •  Love the optimism... (5+ / 0-)

    That said:

    [W]e have outraised, out-redistricted, out-recruited the Republicans.
    I don't know about the other two, but we definitely did not out-redistrict the GOP. That's what happens when you get wiped out in the midterms.

    "The perfect is the enemy of the good." -Voltaire

    by PsiFighter37 on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 03:56:54 PM PDT

    •  It's arguable that we did... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TrueBlueDem

      Just with CA and IL alone, and the botched TX map attempt, it's arguable that we came out ahead.  Considering how much Republicans controlled the redistricting levers they did quite poorly.  However, I think the problem was frankly that they were already close to max-gerrymander potential after the mid-decade TX redistricting.  

  •  I'm feeling really good about the House (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball

    at least at this point. I think our chances for retaking it are better than the conventional wisdom for sure, and it's very reassuring and good to hear that Nancy Pelosi agrees and is optimistic.

    With that said, even if we don't win back the House, we're bound to close the gap in my opinion. Is it possible that if the Republican majority is so narrow (just a few seats) that moderate Republicans could side with Democrats to prevent some of the more radical bills from passing? I sure hope so.

    22, PA-15, Democrat, movie lover — "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." - Mae West

    by GReen4994 on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 04:13:02 PM PDT

  •  Btw, Nancy Pelosi speaking now. Put on C-SPAN. (0+ / 0-)

    "A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere ". C. S. Lewis

    by TofG on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 04:21:07 PM PDT

  •  Balance (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    Asak

    I don't want any party owning two thirds of our government, and neither should you. Our country functions best when everybody's voice finds a way to the table, not just yours and mine.

    •  um, no (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Woody, TrueBlueDem, madhaus
      Our country functions best when everybody's voice finds a way to the table
      Quality over quantity is preferable here. It absolutely does not help the country when half of the voices at the table are going on about birth certificates, UN helicopters, communists, and Jesus riding dinosaurs .

      --- Keep Christian mythology out of science class!

      by cybersaur on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 05:51:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ignorance is remiss (0+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:
        Asak

        If you truly believe that all the Republican party is, is birthers, Christian fundamentalist's and scare mongers, you should probably step back and take a closer look at how politics work in the real world, not elections. All these ridiculous fringe values that get piled on top of every single politician in the Republican party work wonders in the realm of the uninformed, which is literally their sole purpose, but you should try to tune out the propaganda from both sides. Are you a socialist? Do you want to eat the rich? Are you fond of killing babies? You see how this works both ways? The issues in our country are much larger than name calling, scapegoating, and finger pointing. Please try to to listen to someone you disagree with at least once a day.

        •  The Repubs have one voice and only one (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Phoenix Woman

          The Repub caucuses in the Senate and the House adopted a rule a few years ago that effectively ended any deviation from the majority position, and that position has become ever more extreme.

          The rule is that all Repubs are bound to vote on bills, amendments, etc as decided by majority vote in their caucus.

          You noticed that Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine bailed out of her Senate seat earlier this year. That's why.

          Oh, seeing how you are from Texas, like me, you noticed that Kay Bailey Hutchison bailed out of her Senate seat too. That's why.

          Maybe you are thinking of how things were back in the day before Armey, Delay, and other ruff players took over the party in Congress. Those days of moderates and compromises seem to be gone with the wind.

          •  You're right (0+ / 0-)

            That's pretty much exactly what I was thinking. I actually picked up 'It's Even Worse Than It Looks' by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, and digging through their sources and reading their accounts of past and present partisanship literally has me frightened that we'll never be able to go back to those days.

        •  The Republicans aren't representing anything... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cybersaur

          If you think representing people means just blocking every single thing Obama wants to do, then you can just head back over to Red State.  

          Republicans rammed shit through from 2000-2006 when they controlled both Congress and the Presidency and now we're supposed to be concerned about balance?  Give me a fucking break.  

          It's all well and good to listen to someone you disagree with, but that doesn't mean you have to accept anything they say.  On this site we believe in Democratic values such as equality, human rights, and help for the less fortunate, and that is what we want to achieve.  

          Politics is a contact sport.  Get used to it.  

          •  Getting used to ignorance (0+ / 0-)

            If you think that the better part of valor here is to take the bait, you may want to keep in mind what happens to the fish. Today's contact sport has only one logical outcome, and I can tell you it's not going to be good for you. It may work out for politicians, the media, and whoever else benefits from this divide, but this country will only suffer. No one denies the ugliness of politics that has it's ups and downs as far as viciousness is concerned, but no one also denies that today is much, much different. If you can't remember it ever being different then you're probably not out of your 20's yet; but I assure you, this was not how it's always been. If you think that we've made it from the 18th century to the 21st because we haven't compromised and eventually figured out a way to meet each other in a place that got things done than you're kind of missing the actual mechanics of this blood sport. I realize there is no need to cower in the corner, but I also realize that there can be away around this obstructionist right-wing fundamentalism without playing by their rules. That's all I'm really getting at.

    •  Wow, fuck that with a watermelon dildo (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TrueBlueDem

      The GOP can "have their voice" when they take a few crazy pills and start respecting science and the laws of reality.

      •  Why bother (0+ / 0-)

        I'd try to go into all the reasons why that statement is both dangerous and ignorant, but why bother. You go ahead and believe that it's the science they're opposed to, not the loss of income for it's money grabbing polluting industries. Congratulations, you are so dead on.

    •  The Repubs own the Supreme Court (0+ / 0-)

      As Bush v Gore demonstrated, the Repubs own the Judiciary, from the top down. The Repubs own the House and essentially blockaded the Democrats in the Senate.

      So the Repubs dominate about two-thirds of our federal government now -- and it's been a horrible experience.

      Not to mention that, with help from ALEC, the Repubs own most state legislatures and a majority of the governor's mansions.

      To my eye, the extremist Repubs have far too much power now -- and they use it for the benefit of a few multibillionaires and the Christian crazies.

    •  I say this post counts as a troll for this site... (0+ / 0-)

      The point here is to elect Democrats, and if this guy thinks otherwise then...  

    •  That's not even mathematically possible (0+ / 0-)

      There are 3 elected "houses" of government, and 2 political parties. Please explain how one party will not control at least two out of the three.

      (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

      by TrueBlueDem on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 07:03:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  With the GOP House in such ill repute... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody

    The key to winning a working majority is to nationalize the election.

    The GOP ran the 2010 election demonizing Nancy in every competitive race.

    Our side needs to give them a dose of their own medicine, except that we can, in Truman's words, "tell the truth and they think its Hell!"

    There's no such thing as a free market!

    by Albanius on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 05:51:25 PM PDT

  •  CW is way too pessimistic about the House (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tofumagoo, Kinak, Woody

    Something like 50 to 60 GOP House members represent Obama districts, yet almost none of them have made any attempt to cast dissenting votes from the Tea Party agenda. Contrast this to 1996 when Republicans from marginal districts bucked Gingrich on issues like the minimum wage in order to save their seats. I expect Obama to win a margin similar to 2008.
    Most of the "creative redistricting" by th GOP this year was incumbent protection (the biggest exception being NC). The GOP is just about maxed out in the South after the Blue Dog massacre of 2010.
    This is the most unpopular Congress in history, and people know the GOP is in charge. The recent polls showing Cravaack trailing in MN before Labor Day is the canary in the coal mine. I expect a lot of one-term Teabaggers in this Congress. I think there is a reason the GOP is not countering many of the surprisingly good polls from Dems in GOP held districts.

    •  You can't just look at 2008 Obama numbers (0+ / 0-)

      Even in 2008, many GOP incumbents were comfortably re-elected in districts won by Obama. Obama won a lot of moderates and soft Republicans who are perfectly comfortable splitting their ticket and voting GOP down ballot.

      All of the serious district-by-district analyses done here at DKE and elsewhere put us well short of Pelosi's predictions.

      (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

      by TrueBlueDem on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 07:10:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hope so. (0+ / 0-)

    And Rep. Clyburn has to come back as Majority Whip.  

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

    by politicalceci on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 06:27:08 PM PDT

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