US House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi was in town over the weekend. She was raising money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and made time to speak at the March for Science.
This is the unsung job of a caucus leader: to travel the entire country (or state in the case of legislators) and do the grinding job of raising money to build a caucus into a majority. It’s tough work, and exhausting for most. For a few, it’s a thrill and is energizing. Pelosi appears to be one of those few.
Following her trip to the northwest, three observations stand out that
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At 78 years old, Pelosi is not slowing down
She is 78 years old, and still criss-crossing the country. That’s truly a remarkable accomplishment for someone – anyone – but particularly one that has been fighting the strains of a public life for decades.
I spoke with Congresswoman Suzan Delbene about Pelosi, and she reiterated the energy and dynamism coming from Pelosi as she trucks around the country.
Her focus is on taking back the majority in the House, and she’s working tremendously hard on that… She’s not slowing down at all.
Her visit here including both public and private events. At the March for Science event over the weekend, Pelosi delivered remarks in the cold and rain. Again, not even the weather is slowing her down.
When she is back in DC, she catalogs a number of public and private meetings there as well, some of which can be seen on her Medium page.
It is entirely possible she will be the next Speaker of the House.
If trends hold, and a blue wave arises this fall, Nancy Pelosi may well be elected by her peers to lead the US House of Representatives. She will be one of only five people in the history of the Republic to have held the gavel in the House on more than one occasion. This is among a modest 62 speakerships since 1789.
With more than 300 women running for Congress this year, many of which are Democratic, it means the next US House composition would be both more Democratic and with more women in the House than in recent years. In fact, it’s possible there will be more women holding seats in the US House than ever in the history of that chamber.
That is very likely to lead to another speakership for Pelosi, the first woman to lead either chamber of the US Congress when she took the speakership in 2007.
Given the #metoo moment, and the scandals surrounding Donald Trump, it is perhaps appropriate that a woman should rise to be speaker, in part, as a populous reaction reflective of the moment.
Seattle and Washington State are important spots on the 2018 map
Flying across the country to Seattle by a major national party leader doesn’t happen too often. My recollection was that Hillary Clinton came to Washington State on two occasions in 2016, itself a relatively significant investment. Donald Trump came one time, if I recall correctly.
But there are two reasons Pelosi was here that are geographically specific to Washington State.
First, was fundraising. There is a lot of progressive money here in the state. However, more than many markets, Democrats in Washington State like to give funds via events. They don’t write checks without some facetime, generally speaking. Republicans are similar here.
So, if you want to tap into the Microsoft-Amazon-Costco-Starbucks fundraising machine here, you’ve got to get on a plane.
Fundraising would be reason enough for Pelosi to be here. But there is another good reason: three seats are in play for Congress this year. The 3rd, 5th, and 8th Congressional Districts are all possible Democratic pickups in the state, making Washington State one of the country’s most targeted states for DCCC support.
If Pelosi is going to retake the gavel in January, her pathway is going to have to go through Washington State, both in terms of dollars and victory at the ballot box.