Monday, November 13, 2006

Dems Split Over Majority Leader?

Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi is throwing her support behind Rep. John Murtha for majority leader. Murtha is running against Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, current minority whip, who is considered the frontrunner.

In her letter of support, Pelosi praised Murtha's opposition to the war in Iraq:

NewsMax-In her letter, Pelosi began by noting that Murtha had requested her support. Noting his opposition to the war, she added, "Your leadership gave so many Americans, including respected military leaders, the encouragement to voice their own disapproval at a failed policy that weakens our military and makes stability in that region even more difficult to achieve."

The Hill newspaper expects that Pelosi's letter could be the beginning of a bitter fight:
The news may also reignite bitter divisions among House Democrats from the
2001 race for minority whip between Pelosi and Hoyer. Murtha served as Pelosi’s
campaign manager in that race.

Roll Call reports that Republicans view Pelosi's support for Murtha as an indication of the line she will take on the war:
But Pelosi's action is sure to shake up the race between Hoyer and Murtha,
and is also a signal to the Bush administration and GOP Congressional leaders
that she will take an aggressive line on Iraq.

Another perspective: AllahPundit-
What better way to assuage fears about Democrats being too dovish and anti-military than to back America’s foremost spokesman for cut and run — who once famously pronounced Haditha a case of murder “in cold blood” while the investigation was still ongoing?

Take a look at Michelle Malkin's report on Vent highlighting Murtha's plan to redeploy troops to Okinawa.

Hoyer, for his part, is claiming support from both senior and junior members of the Democratic Caucus. He's dismissing Pelosi's letter as an expected move between good friends.

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