Tuesday, October 23, 2012

INSIDER SPECULATION: Is House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi Trying to Fend Off Potential Rise of Rep. Steny Hoyer?

Last Friday, Politico sparked speculation about the future of Democratic leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives. Last May we reported on rumors of a potential retirement from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and we noted that Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina was weighing a challenge to Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland. But Politico is now reporting that Pelosi is indicating she wants to move leadership elections to December, as opposed to immediately after the November 6 election. This has pundits speculating on her motives. Read excerpts below from Politico and The Washington Post for context:
POLITICO: This time, Nancy Pelosi really has people wondering. By delaying House Democratic leadership elections until after Thanksgiving, she’s spurred speculation about whether she is going to stay atop the caucus....

But Democratic insiders say Pelosi’s move means one of two things: She’s getting out of leadership and wants to give someone else a chance to organize a movement against Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the long-time number two; or she’s simply buying time to consider her future if Democrats fall short of the majority.

And here's The Washington Post's take:
WASHINGTON POST: Word that the House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi , wants to move the date of the party’s leadership elections to Dec. 5 has sparked intense speculation on the Hill. The vote is usually held the week after the general election....

Loop Fans may recall that, two years ago, after the Great Thumping that relegated the D’s to the minority, Pelosi quashed an effort to hold the leadership elections in December.

So the leadership votes were held the week after the election, leaving no time for a real challenge to coalesce, and Pelosi crushed now-retiring Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.). So if Pelosi really wanted to run again, you’d think she would want that same short campaign time.

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