A pair of House Democrats publicly called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to step down from the leadership Thursday and others suggested the same privately, as the California Democrat hunkered down in the Capitol to mull over her future.
Pelosi made no public appearances as speculation swirled as to whether she would run for minority leader following the largest midterm rout in more than 70 years.
Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) said Tuesday’s election results were so bad that Democrats need a new leader who can recruit top-notch candidates in the conservative-leaning districts where the party suffered its steepest losses.
“We weren’t successful with me as quarterback, so I lost my job,” said Shuler, a former Washington Redskins quarterback whose team won four games and lost nine with him as a starter.
“She’s so smart she recognizes that it will be difficult to recruit the candidates she needs to win back the House,” added Shuler, a member of the conservative Blue Dog Coalition that lost more than two dozen members Tuesday.
Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah), a moderate, also called for a new direction. “We need to shake things up,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg News.