Following the lashing Democrats took in the 2010 midterm election, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blamed white men for the massive losses the Democrats experienced in the House of Representatives.
In a phone call meant to reassure then-President Barack Obama that the catastrophic loss wasn’t a referendum on health care reform, Pelosi described white men being unemployed as the reason Democrats lost so many seats in Congress.
The November 2, 2010, call forms part of a documentary about Pelosi’s rise through Congress filmed by the House Speaker’s daughter Alexandra Pelosi. The documentary — “Pelosi in the House” on HBO Max — chronicles Pelosi’s signature achievements, including the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
But, one incident in the documentary that has drawn the most media attention is footage of Pelosi saying the wipeout of Democrats at the ballot stems from White men being upset with the unemployment rate.
She asserts that even if Democrats hadn’t passed “health care reform,” the party would have performed poorly in the election, pointing to unemployment being at “9.5 percent.”
Pelosi claimed the losses weren’t about the health care bill but about “jobs,” emphasizing “when [white men] don’t have a job, they get in a mood.”
She concluded by saying they’d have to decide on how the Democratic caucus moves going forward.
2010 was the worst midterm performance for Democrats in more than fifty years, with many pundits pointing to the unpopularity of the so-called “Obamacare” as the catalyst of the results.
But others noted Obamacare was only one factor and that Obama’s broken promise about “shovel-ready” jobs and dissatisfaction with the economy also being to blame.