House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called them her “majority makers” – the moderate to conservative Democrats in right-leaning districts whose election in 2006 made her Speaker.
And now many of them – and other Democrats in competitive districts — are fighting for their political lives in a harsh environment and have found it necessary to distance themselves from their leaders and Democratic policies.
After Democrats won a special election in Pennsylvania earlier this year in which the GOP nominee tried to tie the Democrat, Mark Critz, to Pelosi and Obama, the Speaker said, “What we learn from this election and I think hopefully Republicans saw clearly, is nationalizing the election, talking about Speaker Pelosi and President Obama was not as appealing to the public there than Mark Critz talking to them about their jobs.”
Will that also hold true for Democrats talking about Pelosi and Obama in a negative way?
A TV ad for Rep. Bobby Bright, D-Ala., heralds how he “voted against the bailouts, against stimulus spending, against the massive government health care,” not to mention the “trillion dollar federal budget.”
Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Penn., is up on the air in Western Pennsylvania heralding his opposition to the Democrats’ health care reform bill and the Wall Street bailout.
“ I like that Jason Altmire is not afraid to stand up to the president,” a man in the commercial says.
“And Nancy Pelosi,” adds a woman.
“I don’t work for Nancy Pelosi, or Harry Reid, or anyone else,” says Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-NC. “I work for you.” He goes on to say he voted against the “Wall Street bailouts, the auto bailouts, the energy tax.”
Rep. Glenn Nye, D-Va., has an ad heralding how he voted against the Democrats’ health care bill “because it cost too much and going against his own party he voted against the Wall Street bailout.”
The ad for Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., says he voted against President Bush’s attempts to “privatize” Social Security “and Nancy Pelosi’s energy tax on Hoosier families.”
In another ad, Donnelly says his tough stance against illegal immigration “might not be what the Washington crowd wants” — as a picture flashes of President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio – “but I don’t work for them, I work for you.”