Stephens Media columnist Jason Tolbert pursues the Catch-22 that dogs the Blue Dog Democrats in Congress.
Democrats have elected controversial Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to her post four times. She’s Public Enemy #1-A this election cycle in Arkansas – in competition with Pres. Barack Obama for the title.
So far, Democrats running for Congress have evaded questions on whether or not they will vote for her as Speaker again. The process works differently for the Speaker’s post in Congress versus the Arkansas House of Representatives – its not an open-to-anyone process (although maybe it should be).
Tolbert notes that several embattled conservative Democratic candidates have abandoned plans to support Pelosi should the Democrats hold their advantage in the House.
But times are changing. With Democrats in conservative districts fighting to keep their seats, at least four candidates have committed that they will not vote for Pelosi if she runs for re-election as speaker. Rep. Bobby Bright (D-Ala.) was one of the first to make the commitment a couple weeks ago. Since then at least three other Blue Dog Democrats have jumped on board.
But Fourth District Democratic Cong. Mike Ross has refused to take a position on his vote. His campaign spokesman Brad Howard insists that no one has announced as a candidate for speaker.
“Regardless of who is elected speaker, Mike Ross will continue listening to the people of Arkansas — not any party or party leader. Mike Ross fought against the attempts to privatize Social Security under Speaker Dennis Hastert and opposed the health care overhaul and cap-and-trade energy tax under Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” said Howard.
Two other Democratic Congressional contenders – Chad Causey and Joyce Elliott – have also ducked the issue as have Republicans and their support for Cong. John Boehner, the likely House Speaker should the Republicans win.
Pelosi is more notorious these days than Boehner and that’s provided Republicans with a weapon. Read more of Tolbert’s column