But that was two years ago, when Democrats were hugely popular around the country, and Edwards, a so-called Blue Dog conservative, faced an easy re-election. Now regarded as one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the country, Edwards has turned on his former patron, going so far as to suggest he might not vote to re-elect Pelosi as Speaker if Democrats somehow retain the majority.
"No, I've made no commitments for speaker. Until we see the outcome of this election, I don't even know who will be running for speaker," Edwards told the Washington Post. He now accuses Pelosi and Obama for "going too far and too fast" in their agenda and for being out of touch with average Americans.
Edwards hinted at these same themes in an ad he released last week, which aims to distance himself from Pelosi and Obama. "When President Obama and Nancy Pelosi pressured Chet Edwards," the ad says, "Chet stood up to them and voted no against their trillion dollar health care bill, and no to cap-and-trade."
You can watch the ad here:
Edwards is hardly the first conservative Democrat to distance himself from Pelosi this election cycle. As The Upshot previously reported, Indiana Democrat Joe Donnelly bragged in an ad last month that he had voted against Pelosi's wishes. Another Democrat, embattled Rep. Zach Space in Ohio, has also kept Pelosi at arm's length in his race, and, like Edwards, refuses to say if he'll support her as Speaker.
Yet Edwards' criticism is notable—in part because he's the first House Democrat with actual ties to Pelosi who's openly suggested he might not support her re-election as Speaker.
(Photo of Edwards and Pelosi by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
- Texas Democrat Chet Edwards
- conservative Democrat
- Indiana Democrat Joe Donnelly
- Barack Obama