WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats seem certain to nominate Nancy Pelosi for two more years as speaker, but she’ll be leading a smaller majority divided along ideological lines as it tries shepherding President-elect Joe Biden's agenda toward enactment.
Pelosi, D-Calif., faced no announced rivals for the post Wednesday as the chamber's Democrats planned their first-ever virtual leadership elections in response to the pandemic. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and No. 3 party leader Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., were also on track to retain their positions.
“Let us all be advocates for unity in the Democratic party, where our values are opportunity and community,” Pelosi wrote to Democrats this week.
The first female speaker, Pelosi has won wide acclaim among Democrats as a leading foe of outgoing President Donald Trump in battles over impeachment, immigration and health care. She's given as good as she's gotten from the insult-prone president, sometimes directly to his face, prompting him to call her “Crazy Nancy" and supporters to create memes and action figures honoring her.
But with some votes still being tallied in this month's elections, 10 incumbent House Democrats have been defeated, dashing expectations of adding seats and damaging party morale. Democrats were on track to have perhaps a 222-213 majority, one of the smallest in decades.
This has sparked finger-pointing, with progressives saying the party failed to adequately win over minority and young liberal voters. Moderates say that they were hurt by far-left initiatives like defunding the police and that Pelosi should have struck a preelection stimulus deal with the White House.
Besides bitterness over their election setback, many Democrats continue calling for fresh leadership. Pelosi and Hoyer have been No. 1 and 2 House Democrats since 2003,...