From the “how you gonna keep ‘em down farm” files, comes word, fresh from the horse’s mouth, that soon-to-be-former Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to seek the position of House minority leader. Pelosi tweets:
Driven by the urgency of creating jobs & protecting #hcr, #wsr, Social Security & Medicare, I am running for Dem Leader.
It is possible that she didn’t get the message from the American people about their distaste for her way of doing business or from fellow Democrats, who made it clear in their campaign ads that if their party held onto the House, they wanted the ultra-liberal out as Speaker.
Or it could be the false encouragement she is getting from liberals in the media. Democratic veteran turned columnist Bob Shrum offers a glowing panegyric to Pelosi and her legacy in The Week, writing:
Long after the midterm stories have faded, and the predictions of the president’s political demise prove as facile and false as they were with Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, history will accord Pelosi an unprecedented scale of achievement for a House speaker. The breakthroughs of the past two years bear her indelible stamp. She has been not only the master of the House, but a moving force in changing America for generations to come—and despite their fulminations, the GOP that has demonized her will not succeed in undoing those changes.
That would make even the most conniving and cutthroat of political power brokers feel all warm and cuddly inside.
Diane Sawyer, who interviewed Pelosi for ABC News last night, was slightly more restrained in her reaction to the Speaker’s departure. Although Sawyer avoided throwing any hardballs Pelosi’s way, she did ask whether she thought had the support to be minority leader. Pelosi’s response:
Well, I—as I said, when we— I don’t want to speak for my caucus at this time. But I—when we make that decision together then we’ll have an announcement about it.
Can one assume that between the time the interview was taped and 1:30 ET today, which is when Pelosi’s message on Twitter appeared, that she and fellow Democrats met and arrived mutually at that decision? If so, Democratic whip James Clyburn was not invited to the meeting. He has announced that he plans to run for the minority leader position himself. Current house majority leader Steny Hoyer has also indicated that he may be eyeing the position.
It should be an interesting fight. It is certainly a prospect that has Republicans licking their chops. Ken Spain, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, is quoted by Mike Memoli in the Los Angeles Times as saying:
Given that there are now 60-plus defeated Democrat House members urgently seeking jobs due to Nancy Pelosi’s failed leadership, we welcome her decision to run for House Minority Leader based on her proven ability to create jobs for Republican lawmakers.
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