As current House Minority leader and a former speaker, California Democrat Nancy Pelosi would be expected to pack considerable fundraising firepower. Yet, in a Friday and Saturday visit to Wisconsin, Pelosi is limiting her trip to Democratic safe places and is staying away from races where Democrats could clearly use the help.
As JSOnline.com reported Thursday, Pelosi is going to be in Wisconsin Friday and Saturday for three events: a health care press conference with Congresswoman Gwen Moore, a fundraiser on behalf of the DCCC that’s headlined by Pelosi and Moore, and a Saturday morning fundraiser on behalf of Moore’s re-election campaign. Hillary Clinton won Moore’s district with 74% of the vote and it would be an understatement to say it is a remarkably safe House seat for Democrats.
Meanwhile, there are Wisconsin Democrats in House races who are in very difficult races who undoubtedly could use Pelosi’s help: Dan Kohl in the 6th CD, and Randy Bryce or Cathy Myers in the 1st CD. Instead, Pelosi will spend the bulk of her time with someone that needs no shoring up whatsoever.
That stands in stark contrast to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s activity last week. Ryan hosted political events with Minnesota Reps. Jason Lewis and Erik Paulsen, two Republican House members whose seats are considered vulnerable. Earlier this cycle he campaigned for Ohio Republican Steve Chabot and California Republican David Valadao; both are seen as having competitive races. As Politico detailed last Friday, in the last week alone, Ryan held Washington, D.C. fundraisers for four vulnerable congressional members, and was in Pennsylvania Monday where there are a number of competitive House races. Ryan’s strategy appears to be attending fundraisers on behalf of candidates that are in competitive races and needed the help; an effort that would seem to be a valuable use of time.
Given that Moore’s seat is incredibly safe and Pelosi appears to be persona non grata with other campaigns, her trip seems to have little strategic value to Democrats.