Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Murtha: Unfit for Majority Leader Murtha: Unfit for Majority Leader

Ruth Marcus article in the WaPo: Unfit for Majority Leader suggests that Pelosi backing Murtha for Majority Leader is lose-lose for her.
If she gets her way and helps Murtha win a come-from-behind victory against Maryland's Steny Hoyer in tomorrow's leadership election, she's buying herself -- and the Democratic caucus -- endless news stories about Murtha's ethics. If, as he says, Hoyer has the votes, Pelosi has made herself look weak within the caucus -- not a smart move for any new leader, and certainly not for the first woman in the job. Perhaps the late timing and measured phrasing of Pelosi's endorsement were meant to ensure that it would have little impact. If so, Pelosi failed to recognize that once she weighed in, the vote for majority leader would inevitably be seen as a gauge of her clout.

I wrote a few weeks back that Pelosi's first test as speaker would be whether she picks Florida's Alcee Hastings -- who was removed from his federal judgeship for agreeing to take a bribe -- to head the intelligence committee. As it turns out, I was wrong. Pelosi's first test was how to handle Murtha. Whatever happens tomorrow, she flunked. Whether she'll get another failing grade on Hastings remains to be seen.
Murtha really is a bad candidate for this position, esp. for a party that came into power running against the Culture of Corruption. John Fund in today's WSJ article Meet the New Boss: John Murtha and Congress's "culture of corruption" gives some more details about how Murtha survived Abscam through Speaker Tip O'Neil effectively shutting down the investigation in the House.

My guess though is that Hoyer will win, and this will be quietly forgotten. Murtha will remain one of the most powerful members of the House, through his ability to deliver pork to the other members.


7:17 AM Display: Full / Chopped / Footer

Display: Full / Chopped / None

Display: Full / Footer / None

Display: Chopped / Footer / None


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home >>