Pelosi began her career in California as a Democratic money machine, the paramount prerequisite for being a party leader. She has not slowed since.
“That is always a big, big thing. That is a huge plus in her column,” said GOP consultant Ford O’Connell, who directed rural outreach for Republican Sen. John McCain’s presidential bid in 2008.
Chances of survival
The endangered Democrats who have been most adamant in their vows to vote for a new leader are precisely those most likely to be voted out of office, rendering their threats useless.
Those who remain will be loyal liberals in safe districts, few safer than the Bay Area Democrats such as George Miller of Martinez and Anna Eshoo of Palo Alto at the core of Pelosi’s support.
Even Pelosi detractors see a way for her to survive.
GOP strategist O’Connell warned that this election is not a “wave” for Republicans but a “tempest” that holds equal peril for the GOP.
“This is like a ship that’s fallen off of its mooring and it’s just spinning around,” O’Connell said. “Once this Republican Congress takes over, they’re not going to have more than 100 days before people start taking shots at them if they don’t see an improvement in the economy.
“It’s a tough choice, but I wouldn’t retire if I were her,” he added. “Two years is a political lifetime.”