Well, that was a nice moment of optimism last week. What's next?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced her support for Rep. John Murtha's (D-PA) Maj Leader campaign last p.m. In a letter, Pelosi writes: "I salute your courageous leadership that changed the national debate and helped make Iraq the central issue of this historic election."
According to various media accounts and Hotline sources, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) leads the race with 39 public commitments to Murtha's 15. Neither camp has released a public list of supporters. To see Pelosi's full letter backing Murtha and a list of members who have publicly declared their support, skip past the jump.
Meanwhile, Pelosi put the kibosh on Rep. Jane Harman's (D-CA) hopes of chairing the Intel cmte, meaning that Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) is the next-most senior Dem in line to take the chair. The move, according to Washington Post's Weisman, is a decision "pregnant with personal animus."
Say what you will about Newt Gingrich, especially since he got conked on a head by a copy of The Gathering Storm and decided to declare WWIII on Muslimoterrorfascistnogoodniks. When he took over the House, he followed through on reforms that ended, perhaps forever, the era of Methuselah-spry congressmen running committees for decade after decade. Pelosi's first move in power is to scratch the back of the guy who helped whip her leadership victory back in 2002. In other words, repeating Gingrich's dumbest move from his first, embryonic days in the Speakership, when he tried to get revenge on Tom DeLay, who had opposed his original bid for GOP leader, and failed.
Neither Murtha (32 years in the House) nor Hoyer (20 years) is the kind of leader who'll follow through on the Democrats' promises to clean up Congress or balance the budget. Hey, GOP: As long as you don't choose Joe Barton, you can win us back.