Rep. Dennis Cardoza has had a frosty relationship with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi after he voted against her for Speaker on Jan. 5. Cardoza no longer enjoys a seat at the leadership table, where he was able to voice the opinions of moderates.
“It is generally the feeling of the moderates that they will have a very tough time recruiting,” he said. “In most of these districts, they saw the campaigns were run against Nancy almost as much against the other candidates. ... We won all the liberal seats. We can’t win back the House unless the moderates come back.”
Blue Dogs plan to launch their own recruiting effort in conjunction with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, he said, predicting that the Blue Dog PAC would garner strong support from the business community between now and 2012. But retirements also could complicate matters.
“If moderates continue to be marginalized in the Caucus, that’s a real problem, and it may lead to retirements,” he said. “There’s no question about it.”