The Democratic Party is becoming more young, more Black, and more brown, and that should be reflected in its leadership, says Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), a possible challenger for Speaker of The House against Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif).
Pelosi, the current House minority leader, was House speaker from 2007 to 2011. She was the first woman speaker of the House. Whoever wins enough support will be third in line to the presidency, according to the line of succession, if President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are indicted.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 04: Detavio Samuels
Jamarlin talks to Detavio Samuels, president of Interactive One, the largest independent digital media platform focused on urban culture. Samuels leads a $30M digital media business that in 2017 acquired Bossip, Madamenoire, and HiphopWired. They discuss Richelieu Dennis’ acquisition of Essence, Facebook’s recent fumbles, and whether Complex Media is a culture vulture.
Fudge, 66, is a former lawyer, judge, mayor, chief of staff in Congress and six-term member of Congress from the Cleveland area. Relatively unknown nationally, she said she’s been overwhelmed by the number of people who told her she should run for speaker, Washington Post reported.
Pelosi, 78, has run the Democratic Caucus for 16 years. Ousting her would be an incredible upset, according to Vox. A vocal contingent of anti-Pelosi Democrats are calling for new leadership, and it’s coalescing around Fudge.
Fudge may not be well known nationally, but she has arguably laid the groundwork for the job, having held prominent roles as a leader in the national Democratic Party and in Congress as chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, whose mostly Democratic Black lawmakers who have traditionally been close allies of Pelosi’s.
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA 6th District), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH 13th District), and Fudge herself are among 17 lawmakers who signed a letter opposing Pelosi’s bid for speaker.
Congress needs a new leader. Period.
I’m hoping Marcia Fudge, my first (and arguably best) mentor in Congress will run for the next Speaker of the House. I have full faith in her ability to lead our new Congress to its fullest potential.
— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) November 15, 2018
Now is no time for rookies. Send in the Jedi Master to teach Darth Orange a thing or three.
— milton quinn hines, jr. (@miltchocklit) November 16, 2018
Nancy Pelosi has frightened Republicans so much they used her name in all their midterm campaign literature to try to elect the most despicable candidates. Rubio, Trump, Gingrich and their ilk used her name as a rallying cry to mobilize their base pictured here. pic.twitter.com/TzALdE3HPj
— Homer (@JournalistReal) November 16, 2018
Pelosi gets too much credit for winning back the House, Fudge said in a CNN video interview. Fudge acknowledged that Pelosi helped the Democrats win the midterms back for the House.
“She also was the person who over the last eight years lost seats,” Fudge told CNN. The Democrats lost 63 seats in 2010 and the Republicans held large majorities in 2012, 2014 and 2016. “It’s one thing to give people credit for winning if you also make them responsible for losing. She has been a very good speaker, well suited to do what she does. I just think that if we run on change then we need change and we should not stand with the status quo.”
A critic of Trump, Fudge repeatedly called him a racist during a Huffington Post interview. Working with him shouldn’t be a problem, she said: “I’ve been the mayor of a city. I’ve sat across from a lot of people that I have to work with.”
To win the speakership, Pelosi can only afford to lose about 14 Democrats and still reach the 2018 vote threshold, Vox reported. If Democrats pick up the remaining House races, she’d have more wiggle room but it looks like there is enough dissatisfaction to block Pelosi.
Who is willing to come forward to take her place?
“As I continue to hear (Pelosi) — not only her but other people — say that this is the most diverse congress we’ve ever had, then I think it should be diverse as well,” Fudge told CNN. “We can’t just talk the talk. We have to walk the walk too.”