Outgoing Speaker Pelosi Has ‘No Regrets’

BY Terence Burlij  November 4, 2010 at 7:22 AM EDT

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Photo by Douglas Graham/Roll Call via Getty Images.

The Morning Lne

Despite losing the speaker’s gavel in an election that saw Republicans gain at least 60 seats and take control of the House of Representatives, Rep. Nancy Pelosi told ABC’s Diane Sawyer on Wednesday that she has “no regrets.”

“We believe we did the right thing, and we worked very hard in our campaigns to convey that to the American people,” said Pelosi. “Nine-and-a-half percent unemployment is a very eclipsing event. If people don’t have a job, they’re not too interested in how you intend for them to have a job. They want to see results.”

The California Democrat won a new two-year term on Tuesday but deflected questions about her future. “I’ll have a conversation with my caucus, I’ll have a conversation with my family, and pray over it, and decide how to go forward. But today isn’t that day,” said Pelosi.

Sawyer noted that the president used the word “shellacking” in his press conference Wednesday, and she asked Pelosi for the first word that came to her mind.

“Well, I guess that’s, that probably is a good word,” said Pelosi. “But I, I would say a very disappointing result. And, not being as colorful as he is in that description. But, it, it was, it was a tough loss.”

Asked for her view of what the results meant for President Obama’s re-election chances in 2012, Pelosi said, “I believe that Barack Obama will serve — serve eight years as president of the United States.”

“The message was not. ‘I reject the course that you are on.’ The message is, ‘It didn’t go fast enough to produce jobs.’ So, I would hope that as we go forward, the job numbers will improve, and that will be good — not only for the president, but for all members of Congress,” said Pelosi.

MOVING TARGET

The long wait for a result in the Alaska Senate race could get a little shorter after the state’s lieutenant governor said he would move up the opening of write-in ballots from Nov. 18 to next week.

Incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski launched a write-in candidacy after she was defeated by attorney Joe Miller in the Republican primary this summer.

The Anchorage Daily News’ Sean Cockerham and Erika Bolstad report on where things stand:

“With all 438 of the state’s precincts reporting on Wednesday, results show nearly 41 percent of voters cast a write-in ballot. That compares with just over 34.3 percent for Republican nominee Miller and about 23.6 percent for Democratic nominee Scott McAdams.

There were 13,439 more write-in ballots cast than votes for Miller, who ran on a tea party platform with the backing of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The Division of Elections has received 26,306 absentee ballots so far that still need to be counted and has 10,645 questioned ballots. State elections officials also need to open the write-in ballots and count them by hand to see how many of the voters actually wrote in Murkowski’s name.”

During a stop at her campaign headquarters on Wednesday, Murkowski said she felt “confident.”

In a statement posted on his campaign website, Miller said the race was “not over,” noting that “previous write-in campaigns in Alaska have demonstrated that as much as 5 to 6% of returned ballots have not met the standard to be counted as a valid vote.”

PARTY SPLIT?

Losses by Tea Party-backed conservatives in Delaware, Colorado and Nevada cost Republicans a shot at a 50-50 split in the Senate. Within the GOP, there are two factions passing blame.

Jonathan Martin and Manu Raju at POLITICO have a fascinating look at how “the long-simmering tensions” among pragmatists and purists “spilled into public view” the day after the GOP picked up six Senate seats — short of the 10 needed to claim the majority.

Two key quotes define the story, the first from Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.:

“If you think what happened in Delaware is ‘a win’ for the Republican Party then we don’t have a snowball’s chance to win the White House.”

Another quote, according to POLITICO, comes from a source close to South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, the Republican who backed a number of Tea Party insurgents in GOP primary contests against candidates favored by the party establishment, including Christine O’Donnell in Delaware:

“If the establishment is doing finger-pointing this morning it’s because their $8 million gamble in California didn’t pay off.”

That was a criticism of the national party’s investment in Republican Carly Fiorina’s unsuccessful attempt to unseat Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.

Finger-pointing in the party could spell trouble for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who must find a way to unite a more ideologically diverse caucus come January.

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