October 17, 2010 by USA Post
Nancy Pelosi, It is somewhere between possible and probable that the tide at mid-term will be so severe that the Democrats will be forced to change the leadership of both houses of Congress. But if this happens, do not expect an explosion of energy and new ideas: The most likely successor, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are a pair of white men with 60 years of combined experience in Congress – and 80 years in elected politics.
Begin with the House, where for four years Pelosi as speaker is probably in his last months. Headquartered in San Francisco is safe, but if the Democrats lost their majority, it is assumed that she will step down as their leader (and, presumably, the Congress, where she has served since 1987). It is the tradition that his predecessor, Republican Dennis Hastert, joined when her party lost the House in 2006.
And even if Democrats Buck luck and hang on to a slim majority, it is still difficult to imagine Pelosi back as a leader – especially with a growing number of conservative House Democrats publicly pledging not support for the speaker. She probably is in the same position with Newt Gingrich after the 1998 midterms, when the GOP suffered unexpected losses on his watch, even if it has narrowly retained its majority. Almost immediately, Gingrich resigned as speaker and left the room.
After Pelosi, it is hard to see Democrats running to anyone, but one man: Steny Hoyer, majority leader and a 71-year favorite punching bag of the party’s progressive base. Pelosi and Hoyer do not agree, and she tried several times over the years to marginalize him. But, ironically, is why he is sitting pretty at the moment.
The Pelosi-Hoyer history actually dates back to 1960 when they were young interns in the office of Maryland Senator Daniel Brewster. But their rivalry was not until the late 1990s when they both began fishing for the different positions of party leaders in the House. Between 1998 and 2001, they conducted a campaign inside and out, which resulted in a contest for minority whip – the No. 2 slot on the Democratic side at the time – in the fall of ’01. Pelosi, with the support of the Liberal caucus and the late John Murtha (who, moved by his personal distaste for Hoyer, delivered a block of supporters unlikely that the Pelosi camp), Hoyer defeated 118-95. A year later, when Richard Gephardt resigned as majority leader in the presidential election, Pelosi was elevated to the minority leader – went online to claim the chairmanship of the Senate when the Democrats won back to House in 2006.
But his fierce, long years of battle with Pelosi Hoyer left constantly looking over his shoulder. As party leader, she tirelessly sought to guard against potential challengers future, working to counteract not only Hoyer and his allies, but any young, ambitious Democrats pretend that showed the possibility of creating their own centers of power within the chamber. For example, when protected Hoyer, Rep. Joe Crowley, ran for the leadership slot No. 4 in 2006, Pelosi has designed a surprise victory in the wings for Connecticut, John Larson, a Pelosi ally with neither the ambition nor the expertise to threaten his perch. She also tried to take Hoyer, who had moved into the No. 2 slot when Pelosi moved in ’02, the support challenge Murtha to him after the party took the room in ’06. But Hoyer survived.
Thus, the House Democratic leadership today is composed of allies Pelosi who just are not important party leader – and Hoyer. If Rahm Emanuel, who parlayed his gig as chairman of the DCCC in ’06 (a place he has won over initial objections, Pelosi) in a slit direction of the House, not left the room to join the White House, he would now be able to exploit the vacuum and one of his dreams, do not forget, is to be the Speaker of the House someday. But it is not, and that leaves about Hoyer.
The main question is whether Hoyer would function mainly as a bridge – someone to hold the top slot for a conference while the caucus decides to anoint as his head in the longer term – or whether he had considered holding the indefinitely. He is less willing to draw lines in the sand ideological and more willing to compromise that Pelosi, recently noted that Politico.
On the Senate side, Democrats are still likely to be the majority party after November, but the performance terrible Harry Reid of Nevada last week the Senate debate drove home the increasing likelihood that it will not part of it. Reid was running dead even with his GOP challenger, Sharron Angle, since May, but it is clear that the voters of Nevada badly want to throw him out of office – and it’s starting to look like just enough of them put their reservations on the angle side and vote to do so.
Disappearance Reid would restart a campaign of succession has been suspended (on the surface, anyway) when Angle emerged as the candidate of the GOP – a development that Democrats picked up at the time, would save Reid and ensure his return as leader of the Senate. But if he fails, Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer, the No. 2 and 3 Democrats in the Senate leadership, respectively, will almost certainly be a fight to replace him. Internal senatorial elections are notoriously difficult to predict, but close observers of Congress agree that the hyper-aggressive Schumer would be favored in this race – if only because senators will be in the mood to distance themselves Obama, a friend and fellow Illinoisan Durbin.
Schumer, who won his Senate seat in 1998, has been positioning itself for a shot at the top slot for years. He oversaw the party’s Senate campaign efforts in 2006, when the Democrats retook the chamber, Reid asked him to stay put for the 2008 cycle. But Schumer played Hardball, and re-raised only after Reid has created a new party leadership position for himself – meaning that Schumer, with Durbin, Reid has resisted at every major event in the Democratic Senate last four years.
Neither Schumer nor Hoyer would make for a particularly compelling public face for the party. But hey, it’s not like someone more convincing is online.
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