Democrats promising to rebel against Nancy Pelosi can be sorted into two groups: There are the paper tigers who only talk tough, then there are the real lions ready for real rebellion.
Jennifer Wexton definitely isn’t the latter. The Virginia Democrat makes it seem like she is “deliberately undecided,” as the local Winchester Star recently reported. But a closer look at Federal Election Commission disclosures show that Wexton is already in deep with Pelosi.
Pelosi gave the candidate $4,000 while the Pelosi leadership PAC, "PAC to the Future," also gave the candidate another $10,000. If Democrats retake the House of Representatives and if Wexton wins, she will have 14,000 reasons to support the status quo. So much for her recent comment about not making up her mind until listening to “a stump speech for once.”
Wexton will probably get a chance to listen to that pitch. Polling has her above incumbent Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va. And Wexton has probably already made up her mind. Her campaign coffers are filled with Pelosi lucre.
The minority leader has been working overtime to win back the majority for Democrats and the speaker's gavel for herself. Pelosi even admitted she has been raising money to elect the very people who promise to oppose her. Clearly she isn’t worried. Like Wexton, they know they owe her.
[New: Pelosi insists she'll be Speaker: 'I know how to do this']
Rebelling Democrats have not demonstrated the willingness to leverage their votes. This was on full display when Democrat Danny O’Connor fessed up on MSNBC and told Chris Matthews that, if it came down to it, he wouldn’t really vote against Pelosi on the floor. He admitted that after all the bluster, he would support whoever his party nominates. In other words, O’Connor pledged allegiance to Pelosi.
By campaigning and fundraising and generally taking it down to the wire, Pelosi makes rebellion more and more difficult. In Wexton, she has downgraded at least one rebel into a paper tiger by writing checks.