Dem rep warns against electing congressional leaders based on national popularity

Rep. Dan KildeeDaniel (Dan) Timothy KildeePelosi makes fans as Democrat who gets under Trump's skin House to consider amendment blocking warrantless web browsing surveillance Bipartisan bill aims to help smallest businesses weather the coronavirus crisis MORE (D-Mich.) on Wednesday warned against electing congressional leaders on the basis of their nationwide popularity, as House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Breaking down the June jobs report | The biggest threats facing the recovery | What will the next stimulus bill include? Military bases should not be renamed, we must move forward in the spirit of reconciliation Pelosi: Trump 'himself is a hoax' MORE (D-Calif.) makes a bid for Speaker. 

"I think there's a lot made about whether she's a popular figure nationwide," Kildee told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons and Buck Sexton on "Rising." "If we start electing Speakers or minority leaders or majority leaders or Senate leaders on the basis of their popularity across the country, we're going to lose."

"The very nature of that position is to do the hard things," Kildee continued. "To do the things that make you unpopular, and be popular enough to be able to continue to lead. Leadership is the act of disappointing your own supporters at a rate they can absorb. Doing the hard things is what you expect of those people."

"So I dismiss this whole notion that we have to be really concerned about the personal branding of the party. What we need to be concerned with is what we try to do, and how successful we are at doing," he said. 

House Democrats are set to hold an internal vote on Wednesday to decide on their nominee for Speaker and Pelosi is the favorite. It would be her second stint as Speaker. 

Pelosi has faced a series of obstacles in her bid, however, but some of her critics, including Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), who floated challenging Pelosi, have since walked back their criticisms and backed the longtime Democratic leader.

Kildee expressed his support for Pelosi on Wednesday. 

"I go into a fight with [President] Donald TrumpDonald John Trump Trump responds to calls to tear down monuments with creation of 'National Garden' of statues Trump: Children are taught in school to 'hate their own country' Trump accuses those tearing down statues of wanting to 'overthrow the American Revolution' MORE or [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPublic awareness campaigns will protect the public during COVID-19 Democrats: A moment in history, use it wisely 'Comrade' Trump gets 'endorsement' from Putin in new mock ad by Lincoln Project MORE [(R-Ky.)], the toughest person in our caucus, the toughest and smartest person in the caucus, ought to be the one leading us. And so far, no one has stepped that exceeds her toughness or her intelligence," Kildee said. 

— Julia Manchester