[guest post by JVW]
The House Democrat Caucus today nominated Nancy Pelosi (D – eSalon) to serve another term as Speaker of the House. She faced no opposition for the post and her top two lieutenants, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip James Clyburn, were also returned to their leadership positions. Rep. Pelosi now must win election to the Speaker’s chair when the entire House convenes in January. Democrats are expected to hold a margin of somewhere between eleven and twenty-one seats, depending upon how final recounts come out, and thus far only one Democrat member, Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, has announced that she will not vote for Rep. Pelosi.
This result comes as no surprise to me, even though four years ago I was amazed that Democrats were returning to leadership positions the exact same crew that had lost the House majority in 2010. In a way, I think this is probably the smartest move the Dems could make. If it is indeed true that Aunt Nancy has pledged that this will be her final term in party leadership, it makes a lot of sense to me to let her deal with a narrow House majority, a Senate controlled (God willing!) by the other party, and a President who — to put it mildly — might be highly susceptible to the pleadings of whomever has his ear at any given moment. Better to have an experienced hand on her last hurrah dealing with this nonsense then hand the Speaker’s gavel over to some novice, let alone run the risk of an intra-party donnybrook right now which could conceivably end up electing a Republican Speaker.
But it sure is going to be fun to watch the Dems jockeying to see who replaces her in two years. I can’t see us in 2022 greeting 83-year-old Speaker Steny Hoyer or 82-year-old Speaker Jim Clyburn should the Dems maintain their majority, so get ready for a civil war on the donkey side.