“Pelosi Finds Her Footing as Democrats’ Attack Dog.” But unless you live in the Capitol Hill fishbowl, the more significant story is how Pelosi has disappeared nationally as one of the key faces of the Democratic Party.

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Dec. 18, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER
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The Great Disappearing Act of Nancy Pelosi

It didnt take the communications team of the National Republican Congressional Committee very long to distribute a Roll Call article titled Pelosi Finds Her Footing as Democrats Attack Dog.

NRCC Communications Director Paul Lindsay said in the e-mail that his committee was pleased to see the story and that Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will continue to be a symbol for everything that is wrong with Washington and the Democrats who control it.

The California Democrat may have returned to her role as leader of the opposition in the House by criticizing GOP initiatives on the floor, but unless you live in the Capitol Hill fishbowl, the more significant story is how Pelosi has disappeared nationally as one of the key faces of the Democratic Party.

Throughout the 2010 cycle, Republicans made Pelosi the poster child of the Democratic Congress, running against her almost as much as against President Barack Obama.

In a New York special election in 2009, the NRCC ran a spot titled From Pelosi With Love, which attacked Democratic nominee Bill Owens for supporting Pelosis big spending. The move didnt prove successful, and Owens won.

In Oregon, unsuccessful Republican House candidate Scott Bruuns first TV spot mentioned Pelosi but didnt mention either the president or Bruuns opponent, Rep. Kurt Schrader (D).

And in Idaho, underdog Raul Labradors late-October TV spot began, Walt Minnick sounds more like a Pelosi Democrat every day. Labrador won the race.

But it wasnt only Republicans who used the Speaker in their TV ads. Democratic Members such as Jim Marshall (Ga.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.) ran ads explicitly distancing themselves from Pelosi. Marshall lost but the other two hung on.

In fact, Ad Age noted that Evan Tracey of Campaign Media Analysis Group estimated that more than $65 million was spent on television commercials that mentioned then-Speaker Pelosis name.

But recently, Pelosi has been harder to find than a 32-ounce steak at a vegetarian dinner party at least when it comes to the national media.

The change isnt surprising. In fact, it was almost inevitable.

With Republicans now in the majority in the House and Democrats controlling the Senate, Pelosi is much less relevant than she was.

The far better story in the House is the GOP leaderships challenge controlling the rambunctious freshman class, not Pelosis role in opposing the agenda of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

The former Speaker would have to say something pretty outrageous to get much coverage these days from a major news outlet. Everyone knows that the House is a heavily hierarchical body, and being the leader of 191 House Democrats isnt a very powerful position, especially when your party has the presidency and controls the Senate.

Pelosi continues to release statements on everything from Womens History Month (March 1) and the February jobs report (Friday) to Boehners steps to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (also Friday).

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