Fudge-Pelosi face off on speakership: Darcy cartoon

November 18, 2018

Fudge-Pelosi face off on speakership: Darcy cartoon

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- For the second time, a member of Congress from Ohio may challenge Rep. Nancy Pelosi for leadership of House Democrats.   Rep. Marcia Fudge thinks she has a good chance to succeed where Rep. Tim Ryan failed two years ago.

Fudge and Pelosi met for 45 minutes Friday after they both spent the previous days boasting of the support they had to become Speaker of the House.  The two had a “very open and frank discussion,” Fudge told reporters.

“To (Pelosi’s) credit, she wanted to know what my concerns were.  What she asked me was, basically, how we could get to a point where I’m supportive,” said Fudge.

For Fudge, the biggest issue the two discussed “was the feeling in the caucus of people who are feeling left out and left behind.

In interviews prior to the meeting, Fudge made it clear she believes Democratic House leadership lacks the diversity of its voters and that Pelosi has been given too much credit for the midterm wins.

“When you look at the people who support this party the most, they are women and African Americans and especially African American women.  We keep talking about diversity, but there is nothing diverse about the top of our ticket.  We have to not just talk the talk, but walk the talk.” Fudge told Cleveland.com reporter Sabrina Eaton.

Fudge: “Undertone of racism” in Democratic caucus.”

In an interview with Matt Fuller of the HuffPost, Fudge said her “concern about the caucus is the same concern I have about the country.  Just as there is this undertone of racism in the country, there’s also that in our caucus.”

Fudge doesn’t believe the House Democrats leadership represents the change Democrat voters want or reflects a party that is “becoming more young, more black, and more brown.” 

If it weren’t for black women in Alabama, Roy Moore would have been elected, Fudge told the HuffPost. She also noted that Georgia governor candidate Stacey Abrams lost white women by 76 percent.

Fudge points out that Pelosi only has a 17% approval rating, which she attributes to the perception of Pelosi as being an elitist.  “I think to some degree she is.  She’s a very wealthy person.  She raises a lot of money from a lot of other wealthy people.”

Pelosi should be given credit for House losses too, if she’s going to be given credit for House wins, Fudge said in her HuffPost interview.

“Everybody wants to give her such big credit for winning back the House, and she should be here because she won.  She didn’t in it by herself.   If we’re going to give her credit for the wins, why is she not responsible for all the losses?” asked Fudge, referring to the House majority Democrats lost in 2010 and Republicans going on to gain large majorities in 2012,2014 and 2016.

Trump endorses Pelosi.

Fudge claims Pelosi doesn’t have the 218 votes she needs to return as House Speaker.  But Pelosi does have the backing of President Trump.

“I would help Nancy Pelosi if she needs some votes.  I like her can you believe it?  I like Nancy Pelosi.  She’s tough and she’s smart, but she deserves to be speaker, and now they’re playing games with her, just like they’ll be playing with me,” said Trump

Pelosi has been almost Trumpesque in the way she’s boasted of her support and brushed off challengers. 

“I have overwhelming support in my caucus to be Speaker of the House.  Certainly, we have many, many people in our caucus who could serve in that capacity.  I happen to think at this point that I am the best person for that.”

“I say it to everybody, come on in, the water’s warm.”

Fudge makes good points about Democratic House leadership not reflecting the impact African-American women had in the midterms.   She’s also right about Pelosi being given too much credit for the blue and pink waves.   A good number of the incoming Democrat Representatives campaigned saying they would not vote for Pelosi as House Speaker.

Democrats vote on their House Leadership slate on Nov 29th, Congress has a floor vote for House Speaker on January 3rd.

Pelosi may not have the 213 votes now, but her opposition not only doesn’t have the votes either, they haven’t even coalesced around a single candidate to credibly challenge Pelosi.

After meeting with Pelosi, Fudge said she would discuss running for House Speaker with her family during the Thanksgiving break, and announce her decision afterward.  Fudge also talked about what a big, time consuming job being House Speaker is and noted the fundraising requirements.

Fudge said she and the 78-year-old Pelosi had discussed a transitioning plan.

If I were betting on the Fudge-Pelosi Turkey Bowl, my bet would be Fudge wins better representation for African Americans on the Democrat Leadership slate and on Committees, but that Pelosi will be the Turkey Leftover Speaker of the House.

Update hourly