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November 5, 2010

Pelosi's move stymies Steny

Nancy Pelosi has once again blocked Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer from advancing to the top Democratic spot in the House of Representatives.

The first woman to serve as Speaker of the House announced this afternoon that she wants to be Minority Leader, which is the highest-ranking job she can get once she hands over the gavel to Republican Rep. John Boehner in January.

Given the left-leaning cast of the House Democratic caucus in the next Congress, she almost certainly has the votes she needs already. And that could leave Hoyer in second place, again.

The southern Maryland congressman, who lost to Pelosi in a pivotal leadership battle nine years ago, was regarded as heir apparent--if his longtime rival stepped down.

Instead, he's likely to run for the same spot he's been in since 2006, the second-ranking Democrat in the House. That position, of course, won't be worth nearly as much as his current job as Majority Leader, since Republicans will be in charge.

Hoyer's likely new job title: Minority Whip, the same post Pelosi held when she started her climb up the leadership ladder by besting Hoyer in 2001 (and which Hoyer had soon after, when Pelosi moved up again).

The Marylander might have to wage a fight for the post, however.

Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the Majority Whip, has already announced his candidacy for Minority Whip. It's always possible that another spot in the leadership will be found for Clyburn, averting a messy contest between Hoyer and the highest ranking African-American in Congress.

Hoyer responded to Pelosi's announcement with a statement that he is "exploring" a run for Minority Whip. An aide confirmed that Hoyer is supporting Pelosi for Minority Leader.

Full text of Hoyer's statement after the jump.

Hoyer's announcement:

Speaker Pelosi has announced that she will be running for Democratic Leader in the next Congress.

In the days since the election, I have received an outpouring of support from Democratic colleagues who have told me that I should remain in our party’s leadership, so that our Caucus can hit the ground running with a strong, tested leadership team.

Over the next several days, I will continue to speak to my colleagues about serving our Caucus as Democratic Whip, and I will announce a decision after I have consulted with them.

Posted by Paul West at 1:50 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Maryland election 2010


Nancy Pelosi needs to step down from leadership role. The Democratic losses in this election were as much about her leadership which has alienated many moderate Democrats within the party as about moving the country forward economically.

I believe that Nancy Pelosi has been demonized by the opposition. The fact that she wants to continue to serve shows a backbone of steel. I can imagine her retiring after two more years. Until then she would take on a lot of the garbage being slung about onto herself, protecting others.

Nancy should step down, She has destroyed the Democratic party and people will remember this in 2012. She will have all her power destroyed from her like her Father did when he went to jail. Her ties to criminal activites should be explored.

I now see the value of the British Party system application to Democrats being you lose a major election you resign for the good of the Party. Ms. Pelosi took the shot promoting the liberal agenda and has completed necessary reforms. She lacks the grace however to step aside and make way for others to lead the Democrats. You can always rationalize continuation of the present but frankly the aging of leadership both political and institutional at some point needs to grasp the reality time to move on. Yes, I am over 60 but glad to give next generations a shot at their dreams.

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Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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