Hoyer Gets the #2 Spot

So today, Pelosi’s controversial support for Congressman Murtha has failed to give him the #2 spot.

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) was elected House majority leader this morning, defeating Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi‘s candidate, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.).

Hoyer won the No. 2 leadership job easily — 149 to 86. But the showdown divided the Democratic House caucus only a week after the party won a majority of seats in the Congress that convenes in January. Before the caucus vote, a number of Democrats had complained that Pelosi and her allies used strong-arm tactics and threats to try to elect Murtha to the job.

So for her first act as Speaker, Pelosi seems to have caused a rift in the party and lost her first battle. Not exactly the way that I’d like to start off.

Pelosi’s aggressive intervention on behalf of Murtha baffled and angered many Democrats, who said she unnecessarily put her reputation on the line out of misplaced loyalty to a friend and because of a long-standing feud with Hoyer, currently the minority whip. Pelosi pushed Murtha’s candidacy at social events, in private meetings and with incoming freshman Democrats; they were called to her office to discuss committee assignments, only to hear first that she needed Murtha in order to be an effective leader.

One of these smiles is genuine I think!

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