Rep. Ed Perlmutter finally went public with his support for Rep. Tim Ryan, who has launched an upstart campaign for U.S. House minority leader in the wake of Democrats’ devastating losses in the 2016 general election.
Ryan, a seven-term U.S. Congressman from Ohio, has seen his party decimated at home and nationally under fellow Democrat Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s leadership. In the new Congress, Ohio will send just four Democrats to the House, the smallest Congressional delegation that Ohio Democrats have held since the 1920s. Nationally, the Democrats have lost a net 63 House seats and 10 Senate seats since Obama took the presidency.
Perlmutter’s move is an interesting calculation in purple Colorado. Pelosi’s San Francisco values are certainly out of the mainstream views of most Colorodans, and the state also has a lot of respect for an independent streak in our politicians. Bucking Pelosi, in Perlmutter’s mind, perhaps could position him as a leader, change agent, and outsider – three characteristics that were rewarded by voters this year. Unfortunately, his record of standing by his establishment is woven throughout everything he’s done in public office.
Could Perlmutter’s early support for change within the Democrat party be a signal that he may be considering higher office…perhaps a certain governorship that opens up in 2018? He’d better hold his horses – former U.S. Senator and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar would be tough to beat.