Democrats haven’t necessarily gotten the credit they’re due for the work they’ve done the last two years, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said. Pelosi, in the middle of a tough campaign to defend Democrats’ majority in the House – as well as her own Speakership – seemed to echo a complaint voiced by other Democrats, that obstacles have made it difficult for the party’s message to get through.”You have all those forces at work, pouring millions of millions of dollars into the media, and now into the campaigns to mischaracterize everything that we did,” Pelosi said in an interview with Politics Daily. “So that’s that. It’s up to us to go out there. I’m very confident; our members know why they voted for what they did.
“But you’re right, we haven’t really gotten the credit for what we have done, but we will take it to the voters and have a Democratic majority to follow through on it,” the Speaker added.
Pelosi’s remarks reflect a growing trend of frustration expressed by Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill and at the White House. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said last week that Democrats’ biggest failure in this election has been not to adequately sell their accomplishments to voters, while White House press secretary Robert Gibbs joked to The New York Times that he hadn’t “been at a policy-problem meeting in 20 months.”
Republicans retort by noting that the fretting about messaging is especially ridiculous given the number of Democratic candidates who are running away from the party’s legislative accomplishments, from the stimulus bill to healthcare reform to cap-and-trade and so on.
Democrats say that millions in election spending against them has hindered their efforts to get their messaging out. Pelosi said she took the attacks on her and her Democratic lawmakers as a “sign of our effectiveness,” and said it helped her raise money.
Those attacks have also helped frame the election in such a way that the enthusiasm gap between Republican and Democratic voters has begun to close, the Speaker said.
“I think the enthusiasm gap is closing,” she said. “I think that as our members go home and people see what the clear choice is… that the energy will be there, as they see what’s at stake in the election.”
Part of that understanding of the base stems from her own identification with the base. “I’m very proud of that,” Pelosi said of when she’s labeled a “San Francisco liberal.”