House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi continues to shine as one of the Democratic Party's most accomplished fundraisers, Politico reported
Her singular efforts have helped keep the party solvent. She has raised some $400 million in the 12 years she has been a party leader — $80 million in the current campaign cycle alone, according to Politico.
Her success is chalked up to her indefatigable schedule — at age 74, Pelosi travels about 200 days a year — her style, and her knack for understanding as an affluent person what makes other wealthy people want to contribute. She appeals to donors on the issues and then often personally thanks them for their support.
The California lawmaker says she is motivated by the causes she believes in and trying to help "candidates that advance them."
"A lot of times people would say to me, 'How can you win?' and now they just say go make the fight," Pelosi said to Politico. "You can't win if you don't fight, and we will eventually win sooner or later and just keep on making the fight."
Pelosi is also successful in direct mail funding, bringing in more than President Barack Obama. She's number two, behind Obama, in online donations, pulling in $5.5 million in the 2014 cycle, Politico reported.
Her skill at raising money has helped secure and keep her in top House Democratic leadership positions. Though she lost the Speakership in 2010 when Republicans took the majority, her aptitude at bringing in money means that she faces no internal party opposition, according to Politico.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee would not be where it is financially without Pelosi, according to New York Rep. Steve Israel.
"Anywhere I ever go, she has either just been there, is there with me or will arrive after me, with no exceptions," he said. "She is the most energetic fundraiser that I have ever met in my life and is also the most persuasive fundraiser I have ever met in my life," Politico reported.
Steve Elmendorf, a donor and former House Democratic leadership aide, says that contributors give because they have faith in Pelosi's own ideological commitment.
"There are a lot of people in Congress who ask for money, and you don't have any sense that they care. She is one of the most gracious people that you'll ever meet," Elmendorf said to Politico.
Before coming to Congress in 1987, Pelosi had served as chairwoman of the California Democratic Party, where she honed her fundraising and administrative skills, Politico reported. Both her parents were actively engaged in politics. Her husband, Paul, is a wealthy real estate investor, according to The Almanac of American Politics.
"She always came from that mantra — understand your day job is representing your district, but also understand your night job, which is the politics and the fundraising," said Brian Wolff, a former party official, Politico reported.
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