But in this analogy, Mr. Sanders represents a political iceberg.Fortunately for Democrats, there will be more elections.
The frustrated Democrats met in Rice's office a day earlier to discuss their options as they face long odds of knocking out the woman who has led the Democratic caucus for almost 15 years from minority to majority and back, raised tens of millions of dollars and has had multiple legislative successes. "And we've lost traditional Democratic voters that don't see us as connecting to them, don't see us as advocates for them". "Democrats haven't won there in 37 years", he said of the former speaker of the House.
Democratic candidates have gone 0-4 in congressional special elections, including in Montana where the Republican candidate won despite being arrested in the assault of a journalist in the final days of the campaign. Such comments about Pelosi were highlighted by Republicans on Thursday in an attempt to illustrate a divided Democratic caucus. The CBC includes roughly 40 House Democrats, many in senior leadership and committee positions, including Pelosi allies.
Pelosi should watch her back.
But he said there is no doubt that "this is one occasion when we ought to say he deserves to take a victory lap". Later that year, Florida's highest court struck down the law.
But it's her fundraising skills that are regarded as a key political asset.
But Democrats have the ability to recover quickly from this.
Special elections can be bellwethers of the national mood, but that national mood isn't set in stone.
Put on defense, House Democratic leaders from Pelosi on down tried to spin the outcome in Georgia as positive, arguing that coming in a close second in the solidly Republican district augured well for their chances of taking back the House next year. She retains a devoted core of fiercely loyal supporters.
"I think that she's a tremendous leader of our caucus, with the kind of strategic talent and experience that we really need to succeed in the minority and particularly when we don't control the House or Senate", said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
"Do I think it's fair that the Republican playbook over the last four election cycles has been attacking Nancy Pelosi and demonizing her?" He says the vote shows people want Congress to move forward with Trump's plans.
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) got the support of 64 Dems in last November's closed-door leadership election compared to 134 votes for Pelosi. The money numbers suggest why: In the 2016 election, Ryan's Penguin PAC donated just $13,000 to other Democrats.
While it's true that Mr. Ossoff's defeat to a relatively weak GOP centrist Karan Handel should be a wake up call for Democrats, it shouldn't turn into a nightmare by following Mr. Sanders off a cliff.
"I don't know that it's possible at this point to change our party leadership", Mr. Moulton said. "She is a great leader".
"We as Democrats have to come to terms with the fact that we lost again", said Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass.
In this context, her success will reassure Republican leaders and strategists that the party isn't "tethered entirely to Trump's fortunes", says Frank Bruni in The New York Times.
If the average Republican is willing to look past Trump's sins (and, obviously, many GOPers like him outright), they can start weighing many other factors. "They usually go after the most effective leaders, because they want to diminish the opportunity that we have".
But at her weekly press conference, Pelosi shrugged of concerns that she was dragging down the party.
Pelosi said that would be fine with her. "But I think I'm worth the trouble, quite frankly".