It is hard, of course, for a party to rally behind an agenda when it's out of the White House, and there's plenty of concern after she became an issue in the Georgia election that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is too polarizing a figure to lead such an effort.
Another Democrat who has been pushing for leadership changes, Rep. Filemon Vela of Texas, told CNN the group didn't make any decisions at Thursday's meeting, but those who participated believe there is growing unrest among House Democrats about the direction of the current leadership team.
Ryan, who tried to unseat Pelosi, D-Calif., as House minority leader after the November elections, said she remained a political drag on other Democrats.
When pressed to give a name of who might fill that void, Rice said, "I look to a lot of my colleagues now". "What I am trying to do is to move us in a direction where we have the conversation that is so necessary".
Democrat Jon Ossoff never found an answer for the attacks - and Republican Karen Handel won Tuesday night by 4 percentage points. With some Democrats questioning whether they should have invested more in Mr. Parnell's near-miss campaign, Mr. McIntosh said bluntly that, if Mr. Parnell had ever become a cause célèbre like Mr. Ossoff, national Republicans would simply have blasted him with the same anti-Pelosi message that worked in Georgia.
And we need to make sure that we have that message that's going to grow the economy and get people back to work.
She said Democrats had an opportunity to put in some new leadership after the disastrous 2016 election.
In the Georgia election, Republicans used a tactic they've been using for years, setting up the liberal Pelosi as a villain who needs to be stopped.
Pelosi herself erupted about the GOP ads last week, after Republicans accused Democrats of overly harsh rhetoric in the wake of the shooting at the Republican congressional baseball practice in Virginia. "My leadership is recognized by many around the country, and that is why I'm able to attract the support that I do". She noted last week's shooting of Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and said politics has become too embittered.
She also welcomed a parade of national GOP figures to Atlanta to help her raise money, with Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence holding fundraisers following Trump's April visit. Other Democrats drew just a tiny percent of the vote.
Trump weighed into the race, tweeting support for Handel. The CBC includes roughly 40 House Democrats, many in senior leadership and committee positions, including Pelosi allies.
It is likely that Democrats will pick up seats in the House, but the betting line on whether they can take control of the House changed dramatically because of that special election in Georgia. I struggle to think of one. And there are more Democrats in the United States than there are Republicans.
She continued that it's not easy to call for Pelosi's replacement, as she's been a "great speaker" and is a "great leader", but "her time has come and gone".
Democratic woes are far worse than what Republicans faced from the tea party insurgency.
A successful Republican strategy in Tuesday's race for Georgia's 6th Congressional District included promoting a relentlessly anti-Pelosi message to drive out the conservative base.
Just hours before the news conference, moderate Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice of NY reiterated her call that it was time for Pelosi to step aside.