Nancy Pelosi, the incoming Democratic (California) speaker of the House of Representatives yesterday confirmed the Representative from Pennsylvania, John P Murtha, the next House of Representatives majority leader.
In what is seen as first major decision as the incoming speaker, Pelosi said that it was Murtha’s calling for the withdrawal of U.S forces from Iraq at such an early stage that swayed her thinking in his Murtha’s favour In her letter of endorsement she makes it clear that she Iraq as the central issue of the next Congress will have to deal with and that she believes a decorated – two Purple Hearts and Bronze Star in 1966 are among the decorations he has – veteran at the helm of the House caucus would give the Democrats the kind of clout they need face up to congressional Republicans and President Bush on the Iraq issue.
“I salute your courageous leadership that changed the national debate and helped make Iraq the central issue of this historic election. It was surely a dark day for the Bush Administration when you spoke truth to power….Your strong voice for national security, the war on terror and Iraq provides genuine leadership for our party, and I count on you to lead on these vital issues.”
It is pretty clear that Nancy has a good grasp of why the Democrats managed to wrest control of the two houses from the Republicans. She obviously knows that the Democrats cannot move on anything before they get the Iraq question settled.