The Democrats much-hyped Blue Wave ended up being a washout in the Senate, where Democrats actually lost seats rather than gaining them, and only amounted to about half the number of pickups in the House that Democrats suffered back in 2010 when then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was swept out of power.
While Tuesday night was certainly a big disappointment for Democrats on many levels, they did manage to regain control of the House for the first time in eight years. And that means "Speaker Pelosi" is planning to make her big return in 2019, something President Trump trollingly offered to help accomplish Wednesday morning.
After it was clear that the Democrats would take back the House, Trump called Pelosi to congratulate her. On Wednesday morning, he tweeted out a perfectly Trump tweet. "In all fairness, Nancy Pelosi deserves to be chosen Speaker of the House by the Democrats. If they give her a hard time, perhaps we will add some Republican votes. She has earned this great honor!" he wrote.
Why would Trump be so enthusiastic about Pelosi returning to power? Not only is she polarizing for the electorate and perfect fodder for Republican political ads, there is also a deep and increasingly ugly division among Democrats over the "old guard" getting back control of the House they lost so dramatically eight years ago. Then there's Pelosi's increasingly out of touch comments and frankly bizarre antics, which was all on full display in her big victory speech Tuesday night.
"Let's hear it more for pre-existing medical conditions!" she oddly cheered when attempting to work through a talking point on healthcare. Pledging a Democrat-led House that focuses on working for Americans rather than special interests, Pelosi vowed to work with "transparency and openness" and to strive for "bipartisanship" and "find common ground when we can and stand our ground when we can't." She ended her speech by claiming that they've had enough of "division."
Though Pelosi vowed that the new Democrat-led House would be all about healing division and seeking common ground, her colleagues apparently didn't get the memo, as The Daily Wire's Emily Zanotti noted Wednesday (formatting adjusted):
Democrats had barely wrested control of the House Tuesday night when they demanded President Donald Trump turn over his tax returns. Wednesday morning, Democrats declared that investigating Trump's personal financial records would be the first item on their agenda come January. Democratic Representative Richard Neal (MA) told MSNBC Tuesday night that he plans on using his newfound power as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee to force the President to turn over his tax returns, and that he'll subpoena the records if necessary.
Pelosi, 78, has made clear that she wants and expects to be named speaker once again. "I feel very confident in the support that I have in the House Democratic Caucus, and my focus is on winning this election because so much is at stake," she told the press in July, describing herself as "best qualified" for the job just this month.
Other "old guard" leaders have also expressed their belief that Pelosi should and will be speaker, including Maryland's Rep. Elijah Cummings, who told reporters recently that he believes she'll hold the position until she wants to relinquish it. But as Daily Wire's Joseph Curl notes, the widespread unpopularity of the out of touch Pelosi has turned many of her Democratic colleagues, particularly the younger lawmakers, against her.
"Throughout the 2018 midterms, Republicans sought to connect Democratic candidates to Pelosi — they ran more than 250 anti-Pelosi TV ads in some 75 House districts during the last months of the campaign," writes Curl. "That forced some candidates to repudiate Pelosi — and she wasn't even Speaker."
In case you haven't seen it, here's an example of a Pelosi-starring ad the GOP produced following her defense of MS-13 gang members that turned some heads: