March 22 2018

In Georgia, Handel thanks Trump and reaches out to Democrats

March 22 2018, 04:00 | Rex Rios

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), a frequent critic of Democratic leaders, called Thursday for a "change in leadership" and a "winning strategy" for House Democrats following a series of high-profile special election defeats.

In a Tuesday night tweet, Trump congratulated Handel and said "we are all very proud of you!" We have no questions in 2018 [if it's] Nancy Pelosi versus Paul Ryan, and I hope that the Democrats keep her right where she is for a long, long time.

The Democrats' congressional election losing streak continued Tuesday as Karen Handel defeated "hipster dufus" and interloper Jon Ossoff in the Georgia 6 District special election, and Ralph Norman knocked off Archie Parnell in South Carolina's 5 District.

Porter and other Democrats ballyhooed their U.S. Senate and gubernatorial nominees in 2014, recruiting a pair of famous Georgia political names and helping them raise millions of dollars to finance credible campaigns.

"She's a great fundraiser, but if the money we're raising through her leadership is not helping us win elections, we have to have this hard conversation now", Rice said. When she emerged as the de facto Republican nominee, I noted how her recent history of lackluster Senate and governor campaigns - not to mention her unceremonious exit from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation - would make her an attractive scapegoat if things went south for the Republican Party.

The reasoning here appears to be: If Nancy Pelosi weren't in the party's leadership, then it would have been impossible for Republicans to remind Trump-averse conservatives in the Atlanta exurbs that Jon Ossoff was a Democrat - and that liberals vote for Democrats.

Ryan told CNN that his constituents are more concerned about economic issues than congressional investigations into allegations of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials. In all four states, Democrats bolstered their historical performance in districts they lost by double-digit margins previous year.

The excuses ran the gamut, touching on everything from Ossoff's residency (he didn't live in the 6 District), his milquetoast personality, his lack of experience, his links to Nancy Pelosi, the weather, Russian Federation and, laughably, gerrymandering. His closest rival, former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, won just 11 percent of the vote. Writing in The Atlantic, the liberal columnist Peter Beinart admirably conceded that a demonstrably false notion once seduced him and his fellow liberals: the idea Republicans grew more partisan over the Obama years while Democrats did not.

This year, they are 0-for-4 in special elections, from Kansas to Montana to Georgia and SC. And there are more Democrats in the United States than there are Republicans. But he said there is no doubt that "this is one occasion when we ought to say he deserves to take a victory lap". The commitment to self-delusion Democrats displayed over the eight months between the 2016 election and Georgia's 6th District House race is a marvel that can not be overstated.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) says it's time for a change at the top of the Democrat Party. Do I think it's fair?

None of that suggests that Pelosi faces an immediate challenge to her leadership.

Handel, who left an abusive home as a teen, will be the first Republican woman to represent Georgia in Congress.

"Unfortunately a loss for us, but not good news for them", Pelosi told the rank-and-file in a closed door meeting Wednesday morning, according to Democrats present.

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