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Next?

So. Pleased and all that so many people voted—turnout is still uncertain, a bit, but it looks like it wasn’t down much from four years ago. Sixty percent? A trifle more? In that general realm, anyway. Disappointing, sure, on an absolute basis, but also on an absolute basis there were more than a hundred million votes counted. A hundred million votes! Think about that as an organizational challenge for a moment. Wow.

And I’m happy, of course, that Our Only President won re-election. He has done a pretty good job, probably as good as any President in my lifetime, particularly at disaster avoidance, and I am reasonably confident that he will continue to do a good job. And, of course, I think Our Party’s policies are, in my opinion, much better for the country. So that’s all good. And speaking of Our Party and its policies, we kept control of the Senate, so that’s all right, and we have some Senators who I think might have a shot at being really great Senators, so that’s all right, too.

But the House… so, here’s what I want. I want Nancy Pelosi to announce, sometime between Thanksgiving and the end of the year, that she is not running for re-election in 2014. Then I want our caucus to back her to be our Minority Leader for this Congress, and simultaneously to begin grooming people for 2014. And I want those people to be young.

I mean, young-ish. I’m thinking someone younger than Xavier Becerra. Ideally, younger than Eric Cantor. Which means giving somebody—a Jim Himes or a Linda Sanchez or a Ben Lujan or someone—a lot of experience in a big, big hurry. Which is a Good Thing.

I think Nancy Pelosi is a great woman who did a great job as Speaker and as Party Leader. I think it’s great that she kept her position after My Party lost the House, that we didn’t repudiate her or blame her or make her the scapegoat. I would have been thrilled if we had won back the majority and given her the gavel again. Since we didn’t, and since we will eventually need a new Leader for the House Caucus under some or other circumstances, better or worse, I would like to avoid or a sudden and unprepared-for vacancy or a nasty battle to force her out of the chair. What I’d like to see is a nice, slow transition to someone who has a long future to look forward to and plan for.

Why talk about this today? Why, on a day devoted by My Party to schadenfreude, talk about easing out a Representative who has done such a terrific job?

Because democracy is what happens the day after the election.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,
-Vardibidian.

Comments

North Carolina turnout was in the vicinity of 69%. Apparently not quite as high as 2008's turnout, which was record-breaking, but very close.

I like thinking about the future instead of schadenfreude (though schadenfreude certainly has its appeal).


From what I've been reading recently, I imagine Nancy Pelosi's decision to stay or go will be rather influenced by Steny Hoyer's. He is, after all, a little older than she is, but if she steps down, he's probably the one in the best position to become the ranking Democrat in the House. The next generation moving into party leadership would be nice, but if we're sticking with this generation, let's stick with Nancy Pelosi.


Well, and today's news is that she is staying for another term. No statement about 2014 yet, as far as I saw.

She did speak quite forcefully about seniority, women's experience in the Congress and her tenure. She did not seem at all interested in picking some bright young things to force-grow into leadership, alas, but in a more natural process of turnover. I am glad the caucus seems to be supporting her, in that she does deserve support and is a terrific Party Leader, but I wish that support were coupled with some significant pressure to prepare that turnover.

Thanks,
-V.


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