The tally in the secret-ballot vote was 203-32, with three lawmakers leaving the ballot blank. One Pelosi supporter, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), was absent as he seeks treatment for an illness in New York.
…[Pelosi] could only afford to lose 17 Democratic votes and reach the magic 218 number.
…It was notable that the votes cast against her were well below the 63 votes won by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) in his 2016 challenge to the longtime Democratic leader.
…What’s less clear is whether lawmakers who voted against Pelosi in Wednesday’s secret ballot — in many cases with a green light from Pelosi herself — will be willing to do so with the cameras rolling on the House floor and plenty of pressure to back the California lawmaker.
…“I guarantee you, Nancy Pelosi will have the votes,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). “I don’t have any doubt about that.”
…Sixteen Democrats signed an anti-Pelosi letter last week calling for new leadership.
…A number of other elected Democrats who have not committed to Pelosi did not sign the letter, raising questions of how far they will be willing to take their opposition.
…The Wednesday vote mostly pointed to Pelosi’s muscle and vote-counting skills and leaves her with weeks to pick off opponents or to convince them to vote present on Jan. 3, which would lower the number of total votes needed to win the Speakership.
…Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), …[began to do something that resembled a scorched-earth style sort of backtracking on Monday and said] that the debate had become too focused on Pelosi and suggested negotiations that could lead to changes to the rest of the Democratic leadership team.
Moulton’s comments were directed at Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who along with Pelosi have been in power since before Democrats last won the House.
Jeezus, Seth… Jame Clyburn is a freaking civil rights hero. Apparently, an amount deference to one’s superiors in the military as a component and prerequisite for moving up doesn’t translate into civilian life for you? Change can actually be achieved without scorching the earth on your own side, you know…