Speaker Nancy Pelosi, her Democratic caucus hammered by the elections of last week, has decided to run for Minority Leader in the new Congress. There had been much speculation on her future after the dreadful election results for House Dems, but after taking the pulse of the caucus she has decided to stay on as leader. Despite some rumblings from a few members it looks like she will be well positioned to win that spot and remain the Democratic Leader. I would venture to say that Republicans are delighted with the decision, and will continue to utilize Pelosi as a campaign foil for the next two years.
The Pelosi decision will be hotly debated outside the House, with the potential impacts dissected vigorously. My own view is that success deserves reward, failure requires change. Pelosi has led the Democrats to majority status, but she and the President have failed politically to hold the fort. The Blue Dogs have been wiped out, which some on the left apparently think is a good thing. It is not a good thing, and Speaker Boehner is about to show you how bad of a thing it really is. The Blue Dog eradication will allow Pelosi to withstand any potential challenge, and it also may leave current Majority Leader Steny Hoyer as the odd man out of leadership, as Pelosi will assume that title, leaving Hoyer in the position of running for Whip, a position already held by Rep. James Clyburn. The moderate Hoyer is on the ropes, likely to be drummed out by a smaller and more liberal caucus. Republican operatives throughout the land will smile this morning. Some of the more notable Republican attack ads on the Speaker are below.
The Washington Post story on Steny Hoyer running for Minority Whip here.
The E.J. Dionne column on Nancy Pelosi is here.
Pelosi announces her decision to run for Minority Leader.
Republicans “Jubilant” over Pelosi decision.