Political Centrist: ‘I Don’t Blame Pelosi’

By Jared

Nov 3, 2010 2:43pm

ABC News’ Jared Pliner reports:

If there’s one person Democrats shouldn’t blame for decisively losing the House on Tuesday, it’s soon-to-be ousted Speaker Nancy Pelosi. So said Matt Bennett, vice president for public affairs and co-founder of the Third Way, a moderate Washington think tank, on ABC’s “Top Line,” with Amy Walter and John Berman today.

“I really do not blame Speaker Pelosi,” Bennett said. “I think that she, in fact…was surprisingly sensitive to the needs of the moderate members in her caucus. She did her best to reach out to them…and gave a lot of them passes on some of the tougher votes, like health care reform and cap and trade,” he said.

But with Minority Leader John Boehner as the presumed successor to Pelosi in January, who should be the one to take up the mantle of moderation and consensus-building? Bennett said he believes the answer is clear: President Obama. 

You can watch Matt Bennett talk about the future of the Democratic Party HERE:


“The president woke up to a very different Washington this morning, and he has been preparing for months to face a Congress that’s going to look quite different,” said Bennett. “I think he’s going to be the one who does not want to waste two years of his presidency…And so I think he’s going to be the one pushing for some of these moderate ideas,” he said.

Even with GOP control, Bennett emphasized that House Republicans will still have to be mindful of who they tap to hold key leadership positions in a potentially volatile caucus.

“I think a lot remains to be seen given how the elections among the House Republican leadership shake out,” Bennett said.  “I mean, if they elect people like Michelle Bachmann into their leadership, and send a signal that they are not going to compromise at all, that will be a significant signal to the White House about how much they can reasonably get done,” he said.

“Top Line” also checked in with Reid Wilson of the National Journal to get his insights on last night’s Republican wave, and even their shortcomings in the Senate.

You can watch that conversation with Reid Wilson HERE:


–Jared Pliner

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