Senior Dem looks to rally party around 'Team Pelosi' for elections

A top House Democrat sought to rally supporters to join "Team Pelosi" in a fundraising pitch on Monday.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), a Democratic National Committee vice chairwoman and head of incumbent retention efforts for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), sought to rally the party's base around the Speaker, a figure from which some Democratic candidates have run on the campaign trail.

"Let's show the Tea Party crowd that they're no match for our grassroots strength," Wasserman Schultz wrote in a message to DCCC supporters. "Stand with us against the Right's despicable attacks and their fat cat fundraising by joining Team Pelosi — an elite group of grassroots Democrats who are leading the fight against radical Republican candidates in races nationwide."

The rally around Pelosi comes as a debate is emerging within the Democratic Party over whether leaders like Pelosi — and even President Obama — are an asset or a liability to rank-and-file incumbents and candidates in this fall's elections.

Democrats like Rep. Joe Donnelly (Ind.) are distancing themselves from the Speaker, while Republican candidates, like Mick Mulvaney in South Carolina, seem to believe that linking their Democratic opponents to Pelosi is good electoral strategy.

Wasserman Schultz wrote to Democrats on Monday to rebut the "Fire Pelosi" campaign that the GOP, including the Republican National Committee, has waged in recent weeks. The campaign looks to make Pelosi the central figure of the midterm election fight, with Republicans believing that the Speaker's low popularity numbers will weigh down Democrats running for office.

The Florida Democrat said she wanted to gather 10,000 members for "Team Pelosi," a grassroots effort she said would be privy to the "inside scoop on what's happening in our campaign to strengthen and secure our House Majority."

Members of Team Pelosi, Wasserman Schultz said, would serve as the party's "eyes and ears" in its rapid response efforts, and would be invited to exclusive briefings by party leaders.

"The Republican leadership's only promise is to bring back the failed policies of George W. Bush. And, if they manage to gain control of Congress this November, you can be sure that's one promise they'll try to keep," she said. "We can make sure that doesn't happen. Together we can move America forward and finish the job we began with President Obama and Speaker Pelosi."