Nancy Pelosi's name is toxic for Democrats. Her cash, however, is still good at the bar.
Just ask Antonio Delgado, the Democrat breathing down the neck of Rep. John Faso, R-N.Y. Delgado is one of those cool, rebellious candidates who insist they’re done with Pelosi. Asked whether he would accept a Pelosi endorsement, Delgado said he wouldn't. But Delgado wasn’t asked about the $14,000 in contributions his campaign accepted from Pelosi and PAC to the Future, her cinematically-named political action committee. Delgado accepted that money back in June.
This is the dilemma facing the fresh crop of progressive candidates. At least until the election is over, they want to run away from the old guard. But they need the money and political infrastructure of those veterans. If Delgado arrives in Washington D.C., he will be beholden to Pelosi, and he won’t be alone.
Almost a hundred incumbent and first-time candidates have publicly condemned Pelosi. Then, plenty of them, candidates in competitive districts like Jennifer Wexton in Virginia and Danny O’Connor of Ohio, turn around and take her money. They need her, and she knows it.
Such rebellions make for good campaign gimmicks: Those proclamations are as thinner than Democratic candidates' cash dependency and the loyalty they'll show their patroness when the vote for speaker comes to the floor. Note how Democratic candidates promise to oppose her for speaker, but they don’t promise to actually vote against her when her nomination comes to the floor for the vote that counts.