Democrats struggle for right strategy after special election losses

When it comes to her detractors, Pelosi said "my decision about how long I stay is not up to them". "Well, I'm a master legislator".

"I don't know that it's possible at this point to change our party leadership", Moulton said.

"It was probably one of the more disturbing caucus meetings that I've ever been in", added Rice.

Despite spending more than $30 million, Ossoff lost the district by a wider margin than Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

In April, Democrats lost a special election in Kansas to replace Mike Pompeo, who is now Trump's Central Intelligence Agency director.

All the races were on GOP-friendly terrain.

Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela told Politico, "You'd have to be an idiot to think we could win the House with Pelosi at the top". They must pick up 24 seats to do so.

Though Pelosi has done some good work, Ossoff's loss raises an interesting question - does the Democratic party need to rid itself of some of its most toxic symbols of establishment if we hope to regain anything in 2018 and beyond? Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., on Friday.

"I worry sometimes that we get so obsessed and angered by Donald Trump, which is OK, but you can't hold on to it because it takes your eye off the ball", Ryan said. "It's clear, that I think, across the board in the Democratic Party, we need new leadership".

Pelosi blew off Trump's calls in a news conference later in the day.

The president wrote Thursday: "I certainly hope the Democrats do not force Nancy P out. VOTE TODAY", Trump then tweeted.

In fact Pelosi, 77, has emerged as a favorite GOP bogeyman and was the target of a barrage of negative advertising in the Georgia House race, mocking her as a San Francisco liberal and tying her to Ossoff.

The Democrats expended vast amounts of money, celebrity, and political capital in support of Jon Ossoff, an attractive young candidate running in a district filled with high-income, highly educated voters.

Rice's criticisms have been joined by a couple other Democrats.

Ossoff initially campaigned on a promise to "make Trump furious" but more recently refrained from taking on the president as he tried to win over centrist voters.

"I think I'm worth the trouble, quite frankly".

Pelosi beat back a leadership challenge late past year from Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), with two-thirds of her caucus supporting her.

And after she predicted incorrectly that Democrats were poised to take back the House previous year, some of Pelosi's colleagues feel that this time around, she needs to deliver. But for now they said a different approach would rest on the party message - not Pelosi.

  • Larry Hoffman