House Democrats are beginning to air their criticism of their own party leadership in the wake of the GOP's midterm election-day sweep, and seem especially unhappy with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
On Nov. 4, Republicans seized control of the Senate and padded its House majority by an additional 12 seats.
"[Republicans] wiped the floor with us, so no, we're not feeling good," Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, told Politico.
"We think clearly there was a lack of a coherent and compelling message. We believe that certainly our leadership worked hard, but there obviously was something lacking because we lost so many seats," Fudge said. "I want to see members who have a better handle on who the caucus brought in, whether they be young or old. I want people who have a good pulse of what is going on in our caucus … people who are more inclusive."
There are still five seats up for grabs: races that will be contested in runoff elections.
"If we had lost 30 or 40 seats, rather than the dozen we lost, then [Pelosi] would have said she's never leaving," one Democrat told Politico. "If we keep losing seats, she'll be here until she's 90."
Pelosi, who, according to Politico, had hinted at potentially retiring if Democrats would have taken back control of the House chamber, is expected to retain her post as House Minority Leader in a vote on Tuesday. The politicians she leads on Capitol Hill, however, do not hold the same confidence level in her that they once did.
Democrats have played the blame game since their midterm losses on Nov. 4.
"When any party suffers two comprehensive midterm defeats, as we did, you're going to have soul-searching and you're going to have finger-pointing, and I think that's natural," Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia told Politico. "I would hope that we will create a mechanism for rational analysis of what went wrong and why and what we can do to take correct measures to be successful in 2016 and beyond."
Politico reports that infighting within the left is causing a rift between members of the party. Some have grown tired of President Barack Obama's policies, while others would like a bigger role in helping Democrats form their vision and direction for the future.
The 74-year-old Pelosi said last week that criticisms directed at her are sexist.
"When was the last time you asked [upcoming Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell … 'aren't you getting a little old, Mitch?'" Pelosi said.
"I don't understand why this question should even come up. I'm here as long as the members want me to be here. I'm not here on a schedule, except for a mission to get a job done."
Pelosi has been in a House leadership role since 2002.
Last week, former Democratic National Committee chairman and onetime presidential candidate Howard Dean said
Democrats need to do more to figure out what went wrong on Nov. 4.
"We haven't had the discussion about what went wrong," Dean said. "We haven't had the discussion about what we need to do going forward to be more successful in the mission we have, and now is the time to really begin the discussion."
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