There are certainly drawbacks to this, but if I were the Democrats, I think I would give serious consideration to asking Nancy Pelosi to give the nominating speech today, and her saying something along these lines:
Madam Chair, being Speaker of the House is not an easy job. It’s not. It’s not a figurehead. It’s not a symbol of change, or of the status quo. It’s a grind of day in, day out, getting to work and having to resolve differences, to negotiate with people that perhaps don’t like each other very much, perhaps don’t trust each other very much. Perhaps have different visions of America’s future, or different ways to get there, or just different priorities for what needs to be done first. It’s exhausting, and it’s exhilarating, and it’s often frustrating. People didn’t always agree with me, I can tell you that, and people will not always agree with the next Speaker.
I will not always agree with Hakeem Jeffries. But I know he has the ability, and the vision, and the discipline, to be a great Speaker of the House.
Because it matters.
It matters who is Speaker of the House of Representatives. It matters how this House is run. It matters if the person in that seat does a good job or a bad one. It matters if the Speaker has the trust of his Party, even when they disagree. And it matters if the Speaker has the trust of the nation.
Two years ago today, a mob broke in to this building—broke in to the office that I was fortunate enough to be allowed to use, the office that we’re talking about today—and threatened my life. They threatened this House. This country. This is not the place, or the time, to talk about that, but it must be acknowledged.
Because it matters what happened on that day.
Today, we need to choose a Speaker of the House who won’t be in the pocket of the right wing, or the left wing, or the militants, or the moderates, or the lobbyists, or the media agitators. A Speaker who will work with everyone, but who won’t roll over for anyone. A Speaker who we won’t always agree with. Maybe who we will be, even, a tiny bit cross with, on a bad day. But who will work, every day, for the good of this House and this democracy. And that Speaker, Madam Chair, is Hakeem Jeffries.
Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,