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House Majority Leader Race: Hoyer vs. Murtha

Today's the day when the Democratic lawmakers who will make up the House majority next year pick their second-in-command.

The race between Reps. Steny Hoyer (Md.) and John Murtha (Pa.) has been brewing behind the scenes for months, but it jumped into public view on Sunday night when Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) endorsed Murtha in the majority leader's race.

We'll know the winner soon enough -- voting is set for 9 a.m. Thursday morning. In the meantime let's take a look at the case for each candidate.

Hoyer: The consummate politician, Hoyer has been a player in every legislative body in which he has served and, as such, is a veteran of leadership races. In 1989 he was elected House Democratic Caucus chairman; two years later he was on the losing end of a race against Michigan's David Bonior (Mich.) for majority whip. After losing a 2001 race against Pelosi for minority whip, Hoyer bounced back the following year to claim the whip position when Pelosi replaced Dick Gephardt (Mo.) as minority leader.

Hoyer allies argue that his past experience with intraparty races gives him a leg up when courting commitments and counting votes. They also believe the secret ballot helps their chances, as Democratic House members can tell Pelosi that they will be with Murtha and then vote for Hoyer without fear of retribution

Hoyer's journeys on the campaign trail for many of the newer members of Congress has paid dividends in the majority leader's race, as 22 of the 41 incoming Democratic freshmen have pledged their support to Hoyer. His leadership political action committee has also been far more active than Murtha's. In the 2006 cycle, Hoyer's AmeriPAC doled out several hundred thousand dollars to would-be congressmen; Murtha's Majority PAC has given considerably less.

On ideological grounds, Hoyer has often found himself cast as a moderate in past leadership races, but that classification does not fit as well in this race. While Murtha has been out front in calling for troop withdrawals from Iraq, Hoyer's camp is quick to note that it is their guy, not Murtha, who favors abortion rights and gun control. Hoyer loyalists have also pointed to Murtha's voting record on civil rights and the environment to question his credentials as a liberal. In addition, Hoyer has the majority of moderate and conservative Democrats in his camp.

Murtha: The longtime Pennsylvania lawmaker couldn't provide a clearer contrast with Hoyer stylistically. Hoyer is silky and accommodating; Murtha is gruff and blunt. Hoyer relentlessly courts the press; Murtha rarely responds to press inquiries. Hoyer is perfectly comfortable in front of the camera; Murtha prefers to stay behind the scenes. (Michael Barone, in the Almanac of American Politics, described Murtha as "one of those old-time politicians who operate best in secret, holding court in the back corner of the House chamber where he trades gossip and votes to colleagues who crowd around him as if they were kissing his ring.")

But on the one issue most important to Democratic voters -- and many of their elected representatives -- Murtha has stood out. His decision last November to speak out against the war in Iraq was perhaps the defining moment of the 2006 election cycle. Up until Murtha's announcement, Democratic elected officials had largely been loathe to call for troop withdrawals for fear of being labeled unpatriotic by Republicans.

Murtha has worked to contrast his record on the war with Hoyer's -- "The record is clear: Jack Murtha has been a constant voice for change in Iraq and Steny Hoyer has not," read a recent release issued by the Pennsylvania congressman.

Murtha also has the support of Pelosi, who has not only endorsed him but is actively working to turn Hoyer supporters into Murtha backers. Pelosi allies insist her work on behalf of Murtha is the result of their longtime friendship with the Pennsylvanian, not any animosity toward Hoyer as a result of their past leadership clash.

Throughout Pelosi's rise to the speakership, many observers have second-guessed or underestimated her political skills -- a mistake we won't make here. In many ways, this is the first referendum on Pelosi's soon-to-be speakership. If she can rescue Murtha from what looked like a certain loss one week ago, she will enter the 110th Congress with her chosen leadership team in place and a clear mandate within her caucus.

Hoyer allies have worked to counteract any late momentum Murtha may have picked up from Pelosi's endorsement by ensuring that Democrats are aware of ethical questions surrounding the Pennsylvania congressman -- including his involvement almost three decades ago in the infamous Abscam investigation. While he met with FBI agents who posed as Arab and seeking to bribe elected officials, Murtha never accepted a bribe and was never indicted.

Both Hoyer and Murtha believe they have the votes to win the election this morning. We'll know who was right shortly.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 16, 2006; 4:00 AM ET
Categories:  House  
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Next: Democrats Choose Hoyer as Majority Leader


Saturday, September 03, 2005


My nominee predictions are:

Democratic Party:
President: Hillary Clinton
Vice President: Bill Richardson

Republican Party:
President: John McCain
Vice President: Rudolph Giuliani


posted by 1000 Days at 8:50 PM | 4 comments links to this post

Posted by: R, Ventura-Rosa | November 29, 2006 11:59 AM | Report abuse

kingofzouk, I think we all agree that Colmes is an intellectual lightweight. That is why represents the 'liberal' viewpoint on Fox.

Posted by: roo | November 16, 2006 10:18 PM | Report abuse


Allen? Steele? When the Democrats run the most hated women in the US for prez, even "My Little Pony" would win.

Posted by: Fred | November 16, 2006 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, Drindl,

You don't remember Al running in 2004 and Jesse running in 88 and 84? In 84 Jesse won 450 delegates for the Demo convention. So maybe you should retract "yea, right, jesse jackson will run."

You may also want to use upper case for proper names.

Posted by: Fred | November 16, 2006 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Fred -- you are just a much a predictable wingnut hack as zouk. yeah, right, jesse jackson will run. sure, you bet. and maybe you all will run george allen, whatdya think? or maybe steele -- hey, that'd be great.

Posted by: drindl | November 16, 2006 1:40 PM | Report abuse

What year did Jesse NOT announce that he was running?

Posted by: Fred | November 16, 2006 1:34 PM | Report abuse

You can be prepared for most Dems to shove their fingers in their ears and begin humming to themselves to avoid hearing any of the news from this congress. a typical ploy will be to find one small typo in your thoughts and exploit that while ignoring the overall point. this is a learned response from such intellectual lightweights as allen colmes. but that basic notion that Dems have no ideas and offer no solutions can't be hidden and will be the hurdle they must overcome before the next election. the behavior so far does not look promising for them.

Posted by: kingofzouk | November 16, 2006 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Loudoun voter, you dismiss me because I wrote "Democrat Party" instead of "Democratic Party." I will henceforth give your posts all the respect I give anyone who takes the easy way out.

Posted by: Rick in Cincy | November 16, 2006 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Jefferson may not be there in January. He won only 30% and has a runoff in December.

Posted by: j | November 16, 2006 12:59 PM | Report abuse

"the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history."
Just like old slick willie's scandel-a-week. the leopard will not change its spots. the house leaders are just getting back from Panama. Murtha has declared ethics reform a bunch of crap. Pelosi is already having trouble herding the giant egos longing for some attention from the WaPo and NYT. Washington at its finest. this will be the final gasp for the Whig.....I mean the Dem party. as they say in rocky horror - hello oblivion.

Posted by: kingofzouk | November 16, 2006 12:48 PM | Report abuse

so the new speaker wants to hire the remaining corruptiticians as her staff - Abscam Murtha and Bribe me Hastings. and Dirty Harry is about to be fingered by abramoff. Is this what you wanted when you voted for "change". Very amusing. then there is still Mollohan and Jefferson. Wanna try a different slogan now?
"I belong to no organized party - I am a Democrat" how apropos. Looks like the honeymoon is already over. the spinless press is going to turn on you so fast you won't know what hit you. Tell it to George Allen.

Posted by: kingofzouk | November 16, 2006 12:42 PM | Report abuse

"Hoyer won," which is no surprise to anyone who wasn't trying to inflate this molehill into a mountain. CC is starting to make me a real believer in the bias of the MSM.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | November 16, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Hoyer won.

Posted by: BlueDog | November 16, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Two candidates for majority leader, big f'ing deal. All will blow over by January regardless of who wins. Nancy has repaid her debt to Jack, so he will remain loyal despite the wide gap in their policy positions. Gentlemen Steny never liked Nancy so her opposing him makes not one bit of difference. He opposed HER first, for Chrissakes! Make him sweat instead of handing it to him: Priceless.

Posted by: Cal Gal | November 16, 2006 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Rick: you give yourself away when you use the term Democrat Party. That allows us to treat your post with all due respect.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | November 16, 2006 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Back on topic...Hoyer won.

Posted by: GoBlue girl | November 16, 2006 11:59 AM | Report abuse

You expect Jesse Jackson to run for president? What year do you think it is?

Posted by: Blarg | November 16, 2006 11:58 AM | Report abuse

sorry about the double post!

Posted by: Fred | November 16, 2006 11:58 AM | Report abuse

True about Hillary. But, I still cannot wait until Al and Jesse announce! It is so funny to watch all other people scrap and bow to them even though Al and Jesse don't have a chance to win.

Posted by: Fred | November 16, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

True about Hillary but I still cannot wait until Al and Jesse announce! It is so funny to watch all other people running scrap and bow to them even though Al and Jesse don't have a chance to win.

Posted by: Fred | November 16, 2006 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Oh yea, Vilsack - hmm - no wonder I
forgot. . .

Posted by: star11 | November 16, 2006 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Biden has already indicated he would run and Gov. Vilsack of Iowa has thrown his hat in the ring. Not much of a field so far. Hillary insiders have indicated she will run.

The only reason other Dems are waiting.... Hillary. No one wants to throw themselves in front of the oncoming $$$locomotive.

And, from her point of view, the longer she waits to make it official, the less time her opposition has to gain name-recognition and make their case.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | November 16, 2006 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"not a right winger.....Rick in Cincy"

Posted by: oxymoron? | November 16, 2006 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Chris, imagine what Michael "Came Up Just Short" Steele could do as House Majority Leader! He'd be such an independent voice, too! And if they had commercials? Well, his would no doubt be the most fantastically, magically, wonderfully awesome ads EVER!!!

Chris, I hope that you haven't quit your man-crush on Michael Steele just because, to use you words, he "came up just short" in the bid for chair of the Publican National Committee. Can't you please hype the possibility that he'll end up on Bush's cabinet? That would REALLY prove what an independent and refreshing voice he could be for not just Maryland but for all of America!

Posted by: subpoena power | November 16, 2006 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Stop taking cheap shots at Rahm Emanuel. Let me ask you guys something. Was Bill Clinton a real Democrat? Rahm was Clinton's policy advisor.

Clinton was like the good poker player with a lot of chips, but bad cards --- he was able to win hands because he understood the game, and had lots of chips to play with. Rahm may have advised Clinton well on how to place his bets when he has lots of chips, but he doesn't seem to know how to play when "the chips are down."

In April, Rahm targeted 20 GOP house seats for conversion to Democratic seats. Guess what... right now, only nine of those seats were converted (two are still "in contention", but the Dems are down in both races by significant margins)>

Yet the Dems have managed to turn over 30 seats that were held by Republicans thanks to the efforts of Howard Dean and the tireless work of grassroots activists in the Party (and we do have to give credit to the venality of Bush and the GOP Rubber Stampers here too.)

Rahm deserves all the potshots he gets, because he failed, yet is trying to take credit for the hard work and smart ideas of other people that resulted in a Democratic landslide -- and it was a landslide of historic proportions. Democrats may not have taken as many seats as the GOP did in 1994, but political gerrymandering has made that just about impossible. And when you look at Democratic gains across the board -- in governors races, state legislatures, and the US Senate (where the GOP was able to defend ONLY 60% of the seats that were in contention this year) the magnitude of the Democratic victory becomes obvious.

So, while Rahm was failing, and failing miserably, the rest of the party took up the slack, and gave the Democrats a big fat victory in the House, just like they did in the Senate and state governments.

Live with it.

Posted by: p.lukasiak | November 16, 2006 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Coyote, only right wingers make grammar mistakes? Couldn't prove it on the comments on this blog. But, nope, not a right winger. Pelosi is a clown. If it wasn't for the size of the California delegation her only role in leadership would be as the chair of the Committee on Traffic Control Devices. She and Murtha and John Kerry would do their party a big service by taking a seat on the back bench.

Posted by: Rick in Cincy | November 16, 2006 10:46 AM | Report abuse


No - its just that there seem to be two very different approaches. Is it too early to discuss tactics and advantages to declaring and why the one party but not the other?
Two years before seems a bit ridiculous - I don't really want to hear their names every hour of every day for that long - but it is interesting to note the contrast between the parties. . .

Posted by: star11 | November 16, 2006 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Breaking news is that Murtha's camp has admitted he doesn't have the votes. For Nancy, debt paid. Wheeler-dealer Murtha still loyal to her for her support. Nancy has been elected leader by acclamation.

Next issue.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | November 16, 2006 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Jack Murtha is a blue dog! Just look at his voting record! Removing all the spin, he is more palatable to the moderate Dems in the caucus (new and old) because of his traditionally moderate stances on many issues, including but not limited to gun control and the military.

Just because he took a stand on Iraq does not make him some crazy liberal. It shows that he has sense, just like Jim Webb. In all honesty, I'm not sure if its the right move for the Democrats image-wise, but I think it would turn out to be the right move in substance.

Posted by: mike w | November 16, 2006 10:41 AM | Report abuse


You mean that you are dissappointed that Big Al and Jesse have not declared yet?

Posted by: Fred | November 16, 2006 10:38 AM | Report abuse

This is off-topic -

Why the rush by so many Repubs to announce their run for the White House? Where are the Dems? Beside McCain, I don't see any real serious contenders - but not even one Dem that I know of has announced. . .

Posted by: star11 | November 16, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Hoyer brings in the bucks to my district. So of course I support him. Unfortunately, Pelosi's camp attacking Hoyer doesn't really work: his is socially liberal. Sure he doesn't support taking our the troops ASAP. Why would you do this? Russia did the same thing in Afghanistan, and see what happened? In reality, Hoyer isn't "stay the course," it's "change the course." As for him being "slick," uhhh yeah. And?

Posted by: Laurel | November 16, 2006 10:34 AM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark:

Ohio's 2006 vote count now includes a higher percentage of uncounted ballots than in 2004, and a statistically impossible swing to the Republicans

By Bob Fitrakis, Harvey Wasserman and Ron Baiman

The percentage of uncounted votes in the allegedly "fraud free" 2006 Ohio election is actually higher than the fraud-ridden 2004 election, when the presidency was stolen here. A flawed voting process that allowed voters to be illegally turned away throughout the morning on Election Day may have cost the Dems at least two Congressional seats and a state auditor's seat.

The evidence comes directly from the official website of GOP Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell Blackwell website. But researchers wishing to verify the number of uncounted ballots from that web site should do so immediately, as Blackwell is known for quickly deleting embarrassing evidence. In 2004, Blackwell deleted the evidence of excessive uncounted votes after the final results were tallied.

Despite Democratic victories in five of six statewide partisan offices, an analysis by the Free Press shows a statistically implausible shift of votes away from the Democratic Party statewide candidates on Election Day, contrasted with the results of the Columbus Dispatch's final poll. The Dispatch poll predicted Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland winning with 67 percent of the vote. His actual percentage was 60 percent. The odds of this occurring are one in 604 million.

The final Columbus Dispatch poll wrapped up on Friday before the Tuesday election. This poll was based on 1541 registered Ohio voters, with a margin of error at plus/minus 2.2 percentage points and a 95 percent confidence interval. The Dispatch noted "The survey's 7-point variance from Democrat Ted Strickland's actual percentage total broke a string of five straight gubernatorial elections in which the poll exactly matched the victor's share of the vote."

The hotly disputed central Ohio congressional race between incumbent Deborah Pryce, a close friend of George W. Bush, and challenger Mary Jo Kilroy, a Democratic Franklin County Commissioner has not been officially resolved as of today, November 14. The Franklin County Board of Elections has postponed the official recount of this race until after the November 18 Ohio State-Michigan football game. Another bitterly disputed congressional race, on the outskirts of Cincinnati, also awaits a recount.

The major news leaking from the Blackwell web site is the stunning percentage of uncounted votes still outstanding throughout the state. When John Kerry conceded the day after the 2004 election, there were some 248,000 Ohio votes still uncounted, out of 5,722,443 officially cast. This was an astonishing 4.3 percent of the votes.

George W. Bush's alleged margin of victory at the time was about 136,000 votes, which dropped to about 118,000 after a fraudulent recount. More than two years later, more than 100,000 votes from Ohio's 2004 election remain uncounted, including 93,000 machine rejected ballots


Posted by: che | November 16, 2006 10:20 AM | Report abuse

What being an American citizen is worth today:

'Cyrus Kar, an American of Iranian descent, traveled to Iraq in the middle of the war to shoot a documentary about Cyrus the Great, the Persian conqueror. But the Los Angeles-based filmmaker came back from Iraq with a very different story than the one he set out to tell.

A few days after arriving in Iraq, Kar got into a taxicab that was later stopped at a checkpoint and searched. Iraqi police found three dozen washing machine timers. Those, as you know, are widely used in Iraq to trigger IEDs or roadside bombs. Kar says he didn't know the timers were in the cab and that he has no idea how they got there. He says the cab driver later admitted they were his.

Kar was arrested by Iraqi Security Forces and then handed over to U.S. troops. Even though Kar showed his U.S. passport and his Navy veteran's card to the U.S. troops, he was still taken to the notorious Abu Ghraib prison and then to Camp Cropper, where he was thrown into solitary confinement for nearly two months. (Camp Cropper, by the way, that's the same prison where Saddam Hussein is being held) Kar told me American troops referred to him as the "American Terrorist" and nearly suffocated him by putting a hood over his head. Also, he says he was left to bake for hours in a cage in 120 degree heat.'

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2006 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Today's vote is nothing more than a "shaking of the tree". It means little to nothing to the average American, and is rather normal in the Democratic Party. Yeah, maybe Nancy should have stay quiet, but she's being true to her character, she tends to be decisive. She will manage her Speakership just as she manages her campaigns, forcefully, at least for a while. I would advise no one to expect her to be meek or mild about her opinions. I still think Hoyer will win, but now it's a race instead of a foregone conclusion. But in January, when the Dem's start to get down to real business, all of this Democratic hand-wringing and angst will be long forgotten. Besides, if there's anyone who can keep Murtha in line, should he win, it's Nancy.

Posted by: BlueDog | November 16, 2006 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks that Jack Murtha is a progressive, has obviously never looked at his record. Sure he took a stand on the war, but that doesn't make up for all of his votes and questionable ethics in the past.... and i'm no big fan of hoyer's either...

Posted by: Whateva | November 16, 2006 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Star11 -- you are thinking exactly what the media wants you to think--this is their narrative and they will keep pushing it.

Dems in Disarry
Repugs Unified and

'By the way, Rahm was actually involved in House races, Dean just threw money at Idaho and Alaska. An unfathomably large number of races that were competitive a year ago broke the Republicans way. If we'd won in NM-1, PA-6 and the like, we'd be looking at a 40-seat pickup.'

Whoa, zathras, what have you been smoking? I worked with Rahm Emmanuel AND Howard Dean and I can tell you you are dead wrong about who did what. Try talking to some state Democratic leaders -- they'll set you right.

Posted by: drindl | November 16, 2006 10:15 AM | Report abuse


What do you expect from a party that was delega ted the political eunuch role since 1994-a well planned agenda.

And the change was Iraq but there is the "change' voters too. I don't think that it was so much bringing in leadership who were as pure as the driven snow. Tough to find in a business like politics.

They wanted an end to Republican fascism and the administrations attacks on the constitution as regards governmental infringement of personal rights.

I think that yesterday's article in either the NY times or maybe the Washington Post about Democrat leadership looking for ways to cement a long term majority is more ominous for 'blue dog democrats' than people who may have played, or played the edges of, 'the game'.

It would be nice to get something done before seeking perpetual power.

I think Murtha, for all the various whispers (many of which probably orignating from the RNC)is the lesser of evils.

He can quietly work in the background and tell the Republicans where to go, instead of doing it in public causing them to lose face and go on the defensive. NOt doing that is what got the Newtster in trouble way back when.

Those who are unaware of history tend to repeat it.

Posted by: slats grobnik | November 16, 2006 10:02 AM | Report abuse

This is an election to determine party leadership. It's a standard part of the process. It's not evidence that the Democrats are in disarray, or bitterly divided, or any other media cliche.

How would the media prefer the Democrats picked their new leader? Through shady backroom deals? Members of the party disagree on who should be leader. So they have an election. It's sort of like the election that the entire country had recently. This is the democratic process at work, and I can't figure out why so many people are upset by it.

Posted by: Blarg | November 16, 2006 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I see that Che is still doing his off-topic cut-and-pastes instead of actually discussing the matter at hand.

ABSCAM'er John Murtha is the perfect individual to be the number 2 slot for the new Congress...if you really want to tick off those Blue Dog Democrats who gave them the majority, that is.

Posted by: Rufus | November 16, 2006 9:46 AM | Report abuse

The Dems have to go through this process - it is healthy - this will test whether or not Pelosi can lead - growing pains ladies - growing pains

Carville has become the biggest ho' for the Clintons - if Hillary loses this battle with Dean - she will be dead in the wind like Kerry (in terms of prez)

I do not know who should win - there is so much spin coming in from all directions

This is what I do know - the win was not big - based on historical data the Dems should have done a lot better - my view is the Republicans lost big and the Dems won by a windfall and not because of Dean or anyone else.

Bobby Wightman-Cervnates

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | November 16, 2006 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Pelosi made a big mistake with the Murtha-Hoyer battle - the last thing the Dems needed to show was any sign of divisiveness. The Repubs certainly did look good coming together and smoothly voting in their leadership. I am very disappointed with this beginning - after being out of power for 12 years, the Dems are already floundering and they haven't even taken control yet. It also looks bad for the first female majority leader to have taken such a stance and created such a controversy. It doesn't bode well for a run by Hillary. The Dems certainly do have an image problem and someone needs to step in and do some damage control. I am just calling it as I see it.

Posted by: star11 | November 16, 2006 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I'll stop making 'cheap shots' at Emmanuel if he'll stop making cheap shots at Howard Dean.

It isn't about whtethr Bill Clinton is or was a Democrat -- Rahm is not Bill. But neither one of them --- or James Carville, who is a nobody -- managed to win the presidential election in 2004. All their 'centrism' and triangulating just gave us the John Kerry and one of the worst cmapaigns I've ever seen.

This is really about the DC power establishment and their fear of bloggers and grassroots and actual citizens having power in this country, instead of their corporate benefactors. Disgusting.

Posted by: drinndl | November 16, 2006 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Umm, it's the Democratic Party, Rick. Makes me think your "adios" wasn't sincere, since only right wingers get the name wrong.

Posted by: coyote | November 16, 2006 9:27 AM | Report abuse

This would be funny if it weren't so pathetic. Tuesday FOX News started sliming liberal bloggers with this screen crawl: Liberal Blogger and al Queda: Both Sending the Same Message!

Then later the same day, a guy named Chad Costagna, who was well known to a lot of Blogistan as worshipping Michlle Malkin and Ann Coulter and hanging out at Far Right Neo Nazi site,Free Republic -- was arrested for terrorism.

'A California man suspected of mailing threatening letters containing a suspicious white powder to celebrities and U.S. politicians has been arrested and could face federal charges on Monday, the FBI said.

Investigators identified Chad Castagana, 39, of Woodland Hills, California, as the person suspected of sending more than a dozen threatening letters to media outlets and the homes of public figures in various cities, the FBI said in a statement on Sunday evening.

According to a federal search warrant, among those who received threatening letters were Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show;" talk show host David Letterman; Keith Olbermann of MSNBC; Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, who is set to become Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, both Democrats.'

Orwellian world, hmm? Rightwing bloggers incite terrorism, Leftting bloggers are accused of it by rightwing "MSM".

Posted by: drindl | November 16, 2006 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Well, that didn't take long. Little more than a week after the election and the national Dems are already showing the world that they don't have their sh*t together, as if the world didn't already know. Pelosi and Murtha are both buffoons who would struggle to lead an average size troop of Girl Scouts. If Murtha wins and Pelosi gives chair of the Intelligence Committee to A. Hastings, its adios from the Democrat Party for me, and the Dems should prepare to hand the gavels back over in two years.

Posted by: Rick in Cincy | November 16, 2006 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Stop taking cheap shots at Rahm Emanuel. Let me ask you guys something. Was Bill Clinton a real Democrat? Rahm was Clinton's policy advisor.

By the way, Rahm was actually involved in House races, Dean just threw money at Idaho and Alaska. An unfathomably large number of races that were competitive a year ago broke the Republicans way. If we'd won in NM-1, PA-6 and the like, we'd be looking at a 40-seat pickup.

Posted by: Zach | November 16, 2006 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Is there any way that Michael Steele can win this thing?

Posted by: adam | November 16, 2006 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I'll be calling Rahm Emmanuel's office today to express my displeasure at his public denounciations and undermining of Howard Dean. I suggest anyone interested in the future of the Democratic party do the same.

phone: 202-225-4061

Posted by: drindl | November 16, 2006 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Let's step back and think about the average american. For him/her it is perception. And if the Dem party wants to succeed, they are going to need a majority leader that carries this perception of leadership. I understand Hoyer has been a team player but its now a different ballgame with Iraq being the deciding factor and because of that, I hope Murtha wins. He has a presence that Hoyer doesn't have.

Posted by: David | November 16, 2006 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Murtha and Hoyer at each other's throats! Pelosi separating them with a garden hose set on 'stun!' Jack Murtha abducted by aliens after stabbing Nancy Pelosi to death with one of Harry Truman's 1951 signing pens! The end of Democracy as we know thanks to those evil Dems! Dogs sleeping with cats etc, etc.!!!!!!

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | November 16, 2006 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Hoyer is backed by the same DLC who thumbed their noses at the CT Democratic nominee Ned Lamont and the CT Democratic voters so they could support Joe Lieberman. Now they want Hoyer, so they can thumb their noses at the nation and the majority of voters who wanted the issue to be accountability on Iraq and for the troops to come home! The choice is obvious, Jack Murtha!

Posted by: CT voter | November 16, 2006 8:58 AM | Report abuse

The press wonders why it's audience is declining -- maybe if just once they tried reporting the actual news instead of spinning their little predigested Beltway Narrative.

The NYTImes pulling the same crap -- big friendly shot of Trent Lott and McConnel and other triumphant looking R's on the National page -- all smilling and hugging and acting like they had won big.

Then on the facing page, dark, broody shots of Emmanuel and Dean -- and a long nauseating gossip piece by the Number One Ho, Nagrouney, execrable piece of crap non-writer, talking about how the Democrats Are in Disarray. He honestly used that tired cliche.

Rahm Emmanuel is contributing too--what an unbelievable gasbag. and James Carville. Anybody who thinks he's actually a democrat is dead wrong. He's doing everything he can to destroy the party. Theere's a reason why he stays married to that hag Matalin. It's all about money. Howard Dean is right. He says they're all just anghry because money went to the state committees instead of the 10 time loser beltway 'consultants' and speechwriters.

I have to say that if this continues, the so-called 'centrists' [including Hillary, if she's involved in this] will have alienated the base so much of that those who worked so hard in this electiion to get out the vote won't even bother to show up at the polls.

The way the 'centrist' power-brokers in collusion with the corporate media are trying to --once again --to destroy Howard Dean and the populism he represents --even after he delivered a huge victory -- is one of the most disgusting things I've seen yet.

Posted by: drindl | November 16, 2006 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Per Greg in LA...
Of course the Post in General, and Cillizza in particular, is going to back Hoyer --- didn't you see this line? "Hoyer relentlessly courts the press; Murtha rarely responds to press inquiries." Hoyer is a pimp, and Cillizza is his ho'.

Hoyer is a K-Street operator and press suck-up aligned with Rahm Emanuel who will say and do practically anything to enhance his own personal power -- and that will include undercutting Pelosi and the Democratic base whenever he feels its to his advantage. Murtha is a "true believer" who understands that as majority leader, he's going to have to moderate his positions and stay "on message" for the good of the party.

Of course Cillizza still thinks Hoyer's puppet-master Rahm did a good job last week, despite the fact that less than half the Republican districts targetted by Rahm in April switched over -- while over a dozen districts that had been Republican switched despite being virtually ignored by Rahm. Cillizza is just another DC insider -- a creature of the Halperin/Harris DLC worshipping coterie that dominates political coverage -- he's useful only in that if you want to know what the latest DLC talking points are going to be, Chris is among the first to disseminate them.

Posted by: p.lukasiak | November 16, 2006 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I can hear it now - "you are not a good Democrat because you are not a team player - good Democrats turn a blind eye and remain silent about mismanagement - the same way good Republicans turned a blind eye to nimron in the white house"

The fight is good for the party - but Pelosi's first act (endorsing Murtha) has proven to be mismanaged at the same level as Bush doing just about anything. She should have publically remained silent.

Whether Murtha is a changed man or not - his alleged acts of 26 years ago should have disqualified him in the eyes of Pelosi. (It is an image thing - Pelosi looks like she backs the old guard and old ways( - this is not leadership - it is holding on to what is safe and familiar - It is George W. Bush. - How sad.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | November 16, 2006 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Murtha shifted the center of political gravity from under Bush's feet regarding Iraq - and that largely contributed to Democratic victories on election day. But if he is the next party leader then Democrats should move hard and fast on ethics reform. Otherwise they will have a problem because of Murtha's past.

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | November 16, 2006 8:21 AM | Report abuse


Past experience as opposed to future experience?


I trust that you NEVER drive a car or take public transportation. Both require oil.

Posted by: Fred | November 16, 2006 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Sad how biased the Washington Post has become. Artilce, column and blog have run down Murtha with not a word on Hoyer's ethical questions. Now today another shot at Nancy Pelosi. You would think that the GOP electing Trent Lott No. 2 in the Senate would bring a huge controversy, but not here, not in the MSM. But Pelosi has "split" the Dems and Hoyer has accused Murtha of being dirty. That gets the lead.

Posted by: Greg in LA | November 16, 2006 8:20 AM | Report abuse

The latest talking points fed to us from A.N.S.W.E.R. and tell us to support Pelosi and Murtha because they represent the viewpoints of the really cool progressives.

Murtha will demand the impeachment of the Bush regime and make them answer for their illegal war for OIL in Iraq. The illegal war for OIL only continues because of the support of the corporate controlled media.

Really cool progressives like me and Cindy Sheehan and John Murtha are on to the tricks of Rove and Cheney. We demand accountability and we demand that the marijuana laws be repealed and Bush be impeached.

These Internet chat boards have given us really cool progressives a voice and we need to let eveyone know that Bush Lies and People Dies.

Peace. - Scott Laughrey

Posted by: Scott Laughrey | November 16, 2006 7:57 AM | Report abuse

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