Pelosi Swings Through Battleground States

Posted October 3, 2009 at 2:39pm

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is making a weekend swing through 2010 battleground states to build up Democratic war chests as the party girds for a challenging midterm election.

The fundraising jaunt was set to take Pelosi from a private home near Cleveland on Friday night to a luncheon Saturday in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich., for a pair of events to benefit the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Between the two states, Democrats are defending five seats they picked up last year.

“I am going there to listen to what people have to say, so I can hear their concerns directly,— Pelosi told the Cleveland Plain Dealer before the trip. “It’s always great to be on the ground. It enhances your understanding of the challenges.—

In advance of the Michigan leg, she talked up the ailing American auto industry, telling the Detroit News the success of the cash for clunkers program over the summer demonstrated “an appetite in the public for made-in-America, Detroit-made cars that are more fuel-efficient.—

She said Congress should avoid heavy-handed oversight of the $80 billion federal investment in the industry. “We want private-sector solutions,— she told the paper, adding that government intervention to save American car companies was essential to shoring up the nation’s manufacturing base.

From the Motor City, Pelosi is scheduled to head down to St. Louis to headline a Saturday evening fundraiser for Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.). Carnahan challenger Ed Martin, a Republican, is countering the event with a “Pelosi Pork and Beans— party at his campaign headquarters.

Pelosi is rounding out the trip Monday in New York, where she will hold political meetings, tape an appearance on the “Charlie Rose Show— and attend the Americans for the Arts Annual Awards, a spokesman said.