Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday Question for Liberals

I last asked about this a year ago, when Nancy Pelosi had just turned 71. She's now 72. She was, in my view, an extremely effective Speaker -- but is it time for Democrats to look to replace her as their House leader in the next Congress, or should they try to keep her as long as they can (or at last until the 2014 elections)?

17 comments:

  1. One of the most effective speakers in history. Yes her approval rating was a drag on the 2010 ticket, but I want a speaker concerned with getting the job done, and Nancy is a fighter who deserves the job again.

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  2. Keep her, as long as she's good for it. There are many sharp, elderly folks in Congress, and she's one of the sharpest!

    I don't feel she's the best public speaker, or the best interview subject, but when it comes to being leader, she's incredibly effective.

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  3. Absolutely keep her. As you note, she's been extremely effective.

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  4. I agree that she was a very effective speaker. To me that's what matters most. I'm not sure Steny Hoyer would be as effective. And it probably helps politically to have her as speaker (yes, while she's a lightening rod for some, she helps the Democrats look more sympathetic to women, the Fluke/Limbaugh story alone should tell one how valuable she is). But most importantly, she's a great vote-counter. If there is even the slightest chance of the Democrats being able to pass legislation, I would take her over anyone else. Unless you, Jonathan, have evidence that she is not as effective as she used to be in her primary role. BTW, Jeff Greenfield is interviewing her tonight (Sunday) in New York City, so if you have questions for her, he's soliciting suggestions, https://twitter.com/#!/greenfield64.

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  5. The problem is: with whom do you replace her? Steny Hoyer needs to be kicked out. Jim Clyburn asleep at the SotU was embarrassing. Certainly not Debbie Wasserman Schultz or any blue dog. We need a sports-like site to monitor the "minor leagues". Also, it seems Pelosi has Parkinson's so one doesn't know how much longer she can be effective.
    Good question and a forward looking one that liberals don't think about enough. We need to think past Obama, too.

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    1. She has Parkinson's? Is this uninformed speculation or based on something?

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  6. Van Hollen is being groomed for the position, I think.

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    1. He's a useful idiot: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2011/11/gop-predators-find-themselves-useful.html

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    2. Seriously? Who cares?

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  7. Hard to say. One consideration the party will have to make is can the person work with Republicans. As distasteful as it is we may have to work with Majority Leader Turtle Face McConnell and even if the Republicans don't take the majority we'll probably need 9 republican votes or so to get anything through the Senate. Pelosi was great at whipping votes with the bare minimum needed to protect the vulnerable members but we may need someone who can get 300 votes instead of 217 if that's even possible.

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  8. She was effective at managing the House and getting a majority on important legislation. That's all you need from a Speaker. Yes keep her.

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  9. I wasn't in favor of Pelosi returning as Minority Leader, but if the House Dems pick up seats, there isn't much logic to deposing her either.

    Van Hollen would be a fine Minority Leader, and potentially Speaker. I'm not as anti-Hoyer as most of my fellow progressives, but I do think he's a bit washed up.

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  10. One thing people don't often take into account is that there's a big difference between being an effective minority leader --- where the goal is virtually exclusively to get yourself in the majority --- and being an effective Speaker. It's a different ballgame when you are trying to replace a retiring Speaker than when you are trying to replace the minority leader.

    Of course, this is more visible in the consequences than in the selection, since I don't think the vote ever hinges on this kind of thinking. Still, I'd rather have Hoyer as ML than Speaker, and vice-versa with Van Hollen.

    As someone else suggested, I think the morning line favorite is definitely Van Hollen, but I wouldn't necessarily think of him as having more than a plurality chance.

    Matt

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    1. I remember meeting with Von Hollen in his kitchen before he annoucned his run for Congress. Sigh. If he becomes speaker....blown opportunity.

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  11. If Nancy Pelosi ever needs a kidney transplant to keep going as Speaker, I've got a spare one.

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  12. Time for her to go. I love her, but the House needs a younger, brasher voice who can attract both women and younger voters.

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  13. knock it off with the distasteful Parkinson's speculation.

    Also I would b happy for my congresswoman to be speaker for many more years!

    -shum preston

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