November 9th, 2010
07:36 PM ET
12 years ago

Democrats want leadership elections delayed

(CNN) - Two House Democrats are circulating a letter asking Democratic leaders to push their party's leadership elections for the next Congress until December.

Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D- Ohio) and Peter Defazio (D-Oregon) say in the letter that the "historic results" of the Democrat's 60-seat loss in the House is one reason to push back leadership selection.

The letter comes as the soon-to-be former House Democratic majority leaders are embroiled in a controversy over who will lead the Democrats when the House changes to Republican hands in January.

Defazio is a known critic of the Democratic leadership and has vocalized his opposition to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D- California) remaining in a leadership role. Kaptur has occasionally broken with leadership, but her spokesman told CNN that Kaptur's request to delay the elections is not about Pelosi, but about giving Democratic members some time to return to Washington and discuss future moves for all leadership slots before any decisions are made.

Read the full letter:

Dear Democratic Leadership: 

Our Caucus should come together next week and listen to the members who lost, the members who won narrowly close elections, and the remaining members of the caucus. We should hear their stories about what worked and what was not successful because if we do not to learn from our losses we will remain in the minority until we do learn.

Following the loss of our majority, we should fully understand the causes of our historic losses before we begin the process of rebuilding. We believe leadership elections should take place in December after our Caucus has had the opportunity to hear from each other and our concerns.

We cannot ignore the historical results of these elections. At a minimum, we lost 60 seats, with a few races still to call. According to the exit polls, we lost a majority of both male and female voters, reversing the last four years of Democratic gains. Two years ago, President Obama won a majority of the female vote by 13 points. We also lost a majority of voters over 30 years of age, including an 18 point margin for seniors. We lost the independent vote by 16 points, compared to President Obama’s 8 point margin. Finally we lost a majority of voters earning more than $50,000 a year.

Considering these disturbing exit polls, we believe we should not rush to elect a leadership slate next week, but rather spend more time to understand these historic losses. Before we chart a new path forward, we need to understand where we erred to avoid repeating past mistakes.

There is no pressing need to elect our leadership so soon after the election. We should take the Thanksgiving break to reflect on the Caucus discussions and talk with our constituents. We can then return in December to elect our leadership team. Heading into a Presidential election cycle, we believe our Caucus would benefit from a more thoughtful discussion, prior to leadership elections.

We are not endorsing or opposing any leadership candidate with this letter, but we are seeking more time for a more thoughtful discussion with everyone in the same room. America expects us to take this moment and draw the best from it in her interest. Our fates our tied together. With the economy predominant in all polls, the public knows we can do so much better for our nation. We should be given more than two weeks to understand what happened and select our leadership who will be charged with restoring our majority.

–CNN's Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2010 • Democrats
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Right Leaning Independent

    Please elect Pelosi as your speaker!! She is an easy target to hate and campaign against.. Not to mention her delusion that Dems lost because of lack of jobs will only lead her to push more of her liberal agenda that we Americans rejected soundly on November 2nd!!

    November 9, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  2. Peter s

    Put your house together otherwise you will be the world laughing stock in 2012!!

    November 9, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  3. jim

    If Nancy Pelosi wins I will switch parties. I'm am beginning to believe that the democrats just don't get it.

    November 9, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |

    What or? You need your full dose of ignorance. There is nothing going to save you now. They only thing that could is to ask them to resign along with Obama and Biden. Put Hillary Clinton as President then you might have a chance to save face3. But doubtful???

    November 9, 2010 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |