When an army loses a battle, the leaders should look for the cause of the failure in themselves first. The same applies to a political party. As such, the Democratic leadership should be considering the role they played in the failures of their party.
While Obama is (in theory) the main leader of the party, Nancy Pelosi is also is also a major leader. While Obama’s popularity has dipped, Pelosi’s approval rating is rather dismal. This, no doubt, has played a role in calls for Nancy to step aside and let another Democrat take the leadership role in the House.
One rather practical reason for her to step aside is that she seems to provide the Republicans with a clear focus for attack. While this is to be expected, she also seems to be a very viable target: going after her seems to generate positive results for the Republicans. Given her unpopularity, this is hardly a surprise.
Another practical reason is that concerns have been expressed about her competency and effectiveness as a leader. As noted above, the Democrats lost the House. While this cannot be blamed entirely on Pelosi, it seems reasonable to lay at least a major slice of the blame at her door.
Her failure, it might be argued, can be seen as one of substance or appearance (or both). The election results showed that many Americans are not happy with the Democratic’s polices. This might be due to the actual policies, which Pelosi had a hand in shaping. Of course, it seems likely that most people (including Pelosi) are not aware of the actual content of many of the policies (who among us has actually read the health care documents?). It definitely has to do with the perception of the policies. Pelosi and the other Democrats seem to have failed in regards to persuading the American people that these policies were a good idea. To be fair, Pelosi did have to contend with the Republicans and the Tea Party-two forces that should not be idly dismissed. In any case, she seems to have failed dramatically.
Of course, it is fair to consider that failure was a honorable one. That is, Pelosi and the Democrats fought the good fight but lost despite those efforts. As such, one might argue, she does deserve a chance to lead the troops once again. After all, many great leaders (including General Washington) faced dire defeats and came back to achieve victory.
However, Pelosi has had a long time to show off her skills and some would say that is time for new leadership for the Democrats. Of course, no matter who take the role, it will be a politician. And a Democrat.