Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pelosi's Nightmare

It's not all that unusual for a candidate for Speaker not to get all the votes of his (or her) conference. In fact, Nancy Pelosi herself did not get the votes of all Democrats when she ran for Speaker at the start of the current Congress. Gene Taylor of Mississippi refused to vote for her, because she was too liberal.

If his vote is needed to give Pelosi the speakership, will Taylor change his mind? And what about Henry Cuellar of Texas, who supported Bush for re-election, and whom Democrats tried to defeat because they viewed him as a closet Republican?

Pelosi had better hope for a margin of more than a seat or two.

Welcome Kaus readers, and thanks Mickey for the traffic. Feel free to look around, or read how the Secure Fence Act is like the Defense of Marriage Act.

Update: A commenter reports that Gene Taylor has indicated that he will vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker next year. An article in The Hill confirms that. The same article indicates that Henry Cuellar also voiced support. That definitely seems to remove the two most likely candidates to undercut Pelosi's Speaker bid.


spacegirl said...

Gene Taylor has voted against Pelosi before, but he has told several news organizations this year (the AP, as well as Roll Call and The Hill, both Capitol Hill newspapers) that, if it came down to his vote, he'd cast his ballot for Pelosi. If Taylor wanted to be in the majority, he would have switched sides a long time ago.

Cuellar is a possibility, though, as is Bud Cramer of Alabama (who would then be follwing in the footsteps of Sen. Richard Shelby, who crossed over on the day after Republicans took over Congress in 1994).

I keep wondering who might switch back to the D side: Shelby? Ralph Hall? Rodney Alexander? The latter two baldly switched in 2004, as Hall, in particular, faced increasingly certain defeat.

Then, of course, there's Lieberman...but we won't go there just yet.

The Editor at IP said...

Thanks for the comment and the info on Taylor. With regard to party switchers, Cramer is an interesting possibility. Another name that occurred to me was Charlie Melancon, but I know relatively little about him - only that his district is rather conservative.

Going the other way, I can't imagine any former Democrats would go back. I would think that would be a ticket for certain defeat in a primary. My attention would go more to bona fide GOP moderates in states like New Jersey and New York, or to people who have personality problems with their conference - such as Walter Jones of NC.

While Jones would make for a very conservative Dem, not all switchers jump because of ideology. After all, Ben Nighthorse Campbell and Marty Martinez (D-CA) wound up as pretty liberal GOPers, but just found themselves separated from their Democratic colleagues for personal reasons.