Speaker Pelosi Says She’s Ready to Let Vulnerable Dems Lose
Washington- After repeatedly signing off on her party’s unpopular agenda, Carol Shea-Porter may have imperiled her re-election chances so badly that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is ready to cut her loose. With Democrats across the country facing an uphill climb toward November, party leaders are forced to pick and choose where they will be playing defense. That leaves some of the most vulnerable Democrats like Shea-Porter on their own to defend a record of runaway spending, massive debt, and high unemployment:
“[Pelosi] knows money is finite, though, and that she may have to cut some members loose as the elections approach. She told Van Hollen not to worry about breaking the bad news.
“‘I told him he can blame the tough ones on me,’ she said with a laugh.” (James Rowley and Patrick O’Connor, “Pelosi Thinks Lioness, Does What Rayburn Never Did,” Bloomberg, 7/22/10)
“Nancy Pelosi’s comments have left Democrats in swing districts wondering: ‘Am I on the casualty list?’” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “With a party-line record of voting for more spending, bigger government, and fewer jobs, Carol Shea-Porter has plenty of reasons to be worried about her chances in November. Now that her party leaders are all but admitting that Shea-Porter's record is indefensible, it should come as no surprise to her when voters hold her accountable on Election Day.”
With the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report rating Shea-Porter's race as “Tilt Republican,” it looks like Pelosi and her fellow party leaders have already decided that the New Hampshire Democrat is a lost cause in November. The Democrats’ campaign arm has already set aside millions of dollars to play defense in districts across the country – and Shea-Porter isn’t included:
“House Democrats are setting aside more than $7 million for television advertising to help endangered incumbents, a sign that the party's final march toward November's midterms likely will be spent on defense, according to a plan obtained by The Associated Press.
“Ad strategies show the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reserving time in media markets represented by incumbents who are top Republican targets. The plan, which describes the final month of campaign planning, shows the DCCC already focused on about 20 contests that political operatives in both parties say are the most competitive.” (Philip Elliott, “Dems Reserve $7 Million for Vulnerable Incumbents,” Associated Press, 7/21/10)
With Shea-Porter's reelection hopes very much in doubt, will Speaker Pelosi reconsider or leave her fellow Democrat stranded on the campaign trail?