Indiana Dem goes after Pelosi in campaign ad

Holly Bailey
The Upshot

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has kept her distance from Democrats on the campaign trail, as Republicans try to make her an issue in local races. But one conservative Democrat in Indiana is not only mentioning Pelosi; he's also making a point of attacking her.

For the second time in less than a month, two-term Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly has released an ad mentioning Pelosi in a way that is not exactly flattering. Last week, Donnelly aired an ad insisting he's not a slave to "the Washington crowd," as images of Pelosi, President Obama, and House Minority Leader John Boehner flashed on the screen. "I don't work for them," Donnelly said. "I work for you." An unnamed spokesman told the Washington Post's Aaron Blake that the slight wasn't meant to be "mean-spirited" but merely a slap at Washington, as Donnelly tries to tout his independence in an anti-incumbent year.

But Donnelly's latest TV spot isn't so subtle. As the ad shows images of the congressman talking to what are presumed to be Indiana residents, a narrator brags that Donnelly "voted against Nancy Pelosi's energy tax on Hoosier families."  You catch watch the ad after the jump:

It's not unusual for incumbents to distance themselves from leadership in Washington. What is unusual is that Donnelly isn't considered to be one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the country. While his district is slightly more red than blue, Donnelly's race is marked as "lean Democratic" by political analysts at the Cook Report. Still, the campaign committees for both Republicans and Democrats have signaled they plan to reserve airtime in the district this fall — a hint they think the race could turn against Donnelly amid a possible GOP campaign wave this November.

(Photo of Pelosi by Ed Reinke/AP)