Cartoon from Townhall.com funnies.
"Nancy's first mistake
By Robert D. Novak
Thursday, November 16, 2006
WASHINGTON -- As the new House majority caucus prepared to pick its leadership today, Democrats were trying to make the best of the inevitability of Nancy Pelosi as the party's first speaker in a dozen years. They have put out the word that she was not serious in endorsing Rep. John Murtha for majority leader. How much effort she has exerted for her longtime ally is irrelevant, but she has actively solicited votes this week.
The damage to her was irrevocable when she wrote her colleagues last weekend urging them to pick Murtha over Rep. Steny Hoyer. Close associates of Hoyer say her letter stunned him, and he was not alone. While Pelosi had made clear she would vote for Murtha, the public endorsement was unexpected."........
.........."This is a no-win situation for Pelosi. If Murtha wins today, she will be accused of personal vindictiveness in derailing Hoyer, who is more popular in the caucus and better qualified for leadership. If Murtha loses, as is much more probable, she will be seen as bumbling her first attempt to lead the new Democratic majority. Pelosi could have avoided this dilemma by standing aside as Speaker-presumptive Newt Gingrich did when he voted for his ally Robert Walker as majority whip but did not ask members to oppose Tom DeLay.
Pelosi's mistake confirms longstanding, privately held Democratic apprehension about her abilities. Their concerns do not reflect the Republican indictment of her as a reflexive San Francisco liberal. Some of her most trenchant congressional critics are on the left wing of the party. These colleagues worry that her decision-making may be distorted by personal considerations.".....
........." For a party that effectively stressed a Republican climate of corruption in the recent campaign to consider placing Murtha and Hastings in its leadership astonishes a wide range of Democrats. They do not believe Murtha can defeat Hoyer, but the imminence of Hastings stuns them. Well-placed Democrats have told Pelosi she cannot permit this to happen. What they hesitate to contemplate is what lies ahead based on Pelosi's performance before she has taken the oath."