Thursday, September 21, 2006

Will Murtha Be Majority leader of Congress?

(image via progressives)

Are the Democrats finally making a play for the military vote that they have all but ceded to the Republican Party for the longest? Did the "Swift Boating" strike a raw nerve? For decades they have ceded a strong defense position to the Republican party. But lately, in the decision to run Second Gulf War veterans in previously thought to be unwinnable House seats and now the stealth backing of 16-term friend of the military John Murtha by Minority Leader Nacy Pelosi (who is on track, should the Dems win the House) to be Speaker of the House, it seems the Dems are undertaking a project to contest the military vote in the near future. As there are military bases in nearly every Congressional district in the South, this is an intriguing and far-sighted goal. According to ABC's superhott correspondent Gigi Stone:

"Outspoken Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha is looking for a promotion. A senior aide to the Democratic leadership told ABC News the Marine veteran wants to become majority leader in the House if Democrats regain control this fall.

"It's a move that may throw the Democratic Caucus into a contentious leadership battle as the midterm election season heats up.

"Until now, it was presumed Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland would move up from his position when California Rep. Nancy Pelosi became the new speaker. But Murtha's interest in the majority leader seat could change that scenario.

"'Murtha has always been a darling of the more conservative members of the caucus, but his recent leadership of the anti-war movement has won him wide praise among more liberal members as well,' someone close to the deliberations told ABC News."

Leapfrogging Murtha over the current Minority Whip Steny Meyer would be thorny and fairlly unprecedented. We will keep you informed.

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