Washington (CNN) – John Boccieri shouldn't be happy.
The first term Congressman from Ohio lost his re-election effort two weeks ago, running a campaign that emphasized his support for Democratic initiatives like health care reform, cap and trade, and the stimulus bill.
But as he emerged from a private meeting with other House Democrats on Tuesday, the first forum with Speaker Nancy Pelosi since the elections, Boccieri looked surprisingly pleased.
Characterizing the meeting as "an after actions report," the Air Force reservist said his party's poor showing was mainly due to the bad economy.
And despite the barrage of campaign ads linking him to Pelosi, he does not blame her for his defeat.
"What I'm taking away from this is that it is the economy. Folks are still unhappy and uneasy about the economic anxiety out there, and they are going to take it out on the people who are in charge," he said. "All you had to do was take a name out of it, it could have been any member of our caucus, and if they were speaker it would have been the same thing."
"Republicans, to their credit, were very simple in their message; it became about Nancy Pelosi and not about working class issues. It was very hard issue to get past in the national election."
After Congress wraps up its lame duck session in December, Boccieri says he will return to Alliance, Ohio, where he lives with his wife and five children, the youngest born just days before the election.
As he talks about the future, a smile appears on his face.
"I get to go back home and change some diapers and help my wife out. With five kids at home, that's where I'm going to find my feet."