The Note: The Return Of Pelosi

Nov 17, 2010 9:18am


MIRROR IMAGE. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is asking Democratic members of the House for a vote of confidence today when she runs for the position of House minority leader. But it may get a little ugly: Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina, a member of conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition, says he's going to challenge her. “This is about truly making a difference in our caucus, and moving our caucus in the direction which I think that 54 percent of Democrats said we should be moving in,” Shuler told reporters on Wednesday. And as ABC News’ John R. Parkinson notes, when the new Congress convenes next year the leadership teams of both parties are likely to “closely resemble the current House leadership of the 111th Congress.” In addition to Pelosi’s run for minority leader, Parkinson reports that “the Democratic Caucus will adopt an organizational resolution that, in part, will provide for renaming a leadership post in the Democratic Majority known as Assistant to the Leader to a newly created post for the Democratic Minority, Assistant Leader. … Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is expected to be nominated for Minority Whip … while Rep. James Clyburn, the current House Majority Whip, will be nominated by Pelosi to serve as the Democrats' first Assistant Leader” — a compromise that averted another embarrassing fight for Democrats.

NOTED. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is sending a shot across the bow to members of the Democratic Blue Dog coalition who plan on voting against Pelosi for minority leader. The Committee is sending an e-mail to supporters with the following message: “Blue Dog insistence on watering down popular progressive change left many Obama voters uninspired to vote this year — and as a result, Democrats lost their House majority. Today, House Democrats are about to re-elect Pelosi to be their leader. But Shuler is one of the few fringe House members voting no. Can you call him? Tell him to stop being a weak Democrat — and that voting against Pelosi will have consequences.”

THE SKED. From ABC’s John R. Parkinson on Capitol Hill: The Democratic Caucus will meet at 10 a.m. while the House Republicans will meet at 1 p.m. to choose their respective leadership teams.  House Minority Leader John Boehner is expected to run unopposed as the next Speaker of the House while Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., is expected to be selected as Majority Leader. The current Deputy Whip, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., stands to move up the GOP ranks to the third-ranking post in the Republican majority as House Majority Whip. Republicans will also elect two freshmen members to take a seat at the leadership table — likely Tim Scott and Kristi Noem. Later this afternoon And the House Ethics Committee announced last night that it would meet at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday to announce its penalty for New York Rep. Charles Rangel.

SUMMIT INTERRUPTED. What became known as the “Slurpee Summit” — a gathering that was supposed to take place between President Obama and Congressional leaders, including presumptive House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, on Thursday — has been put on hold due to scheduling conflicts. The White House announced last night that the meeting will take place on Nov. 30 instead. But not everyone is buying the official reason for the delay. Politico’s Glen Thrush writes that the “roots of the partisan standoff that led to the postponement of the bipartisan White House summit scheduled for Thursday date back to January, when President Barack Obama dominated a GOP meeting in Baltimore to deliver a humiliating rebuke of House Republicans. The one-sided televised presidential lecture many Republicans decried as a political ambush — Obama’s staff wanted the event be broadcast and GOP aides agreed reluctantly at the last minute — has left a lingering distrust of Obama invitations and a wariness about accommodating every scheduling request emanating from the West Wing, aides tell POLITICO. ‘He has a ways to go to rebuild the trust,’ said a top Republican Hill staffer ‘The Baltimore thing was unbelievable.’”

2012 TRY-OUTS. Thirty-four governors are expected to attend this week’s Republican Governors Association Conference in San Diego, including 19 current and outgoing governors and 15 newly elected governors. In fact, says the RGA, this is their largest Annual Conference in history. One reason for the oversized interest: the number of potential White House candidates who’ll be gathered here, including Mississippi Gov. and RGA Chairman Haley Barbour, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. The outsized class of newly elected Governors, including those from key 2012 states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida and Wisconsin are also here.  For an extra bit of drama, Gov. Mark Sanford will also be attending. For more about what’s on tap at the RGA conference, check out ABC Political Director Amy Walter’s dispatch from San Diego:

RUN THAT BY ME AGAIN. In his resignation letter from the top political job at the Republican National Committee on Tuesday, Gentry Collins painted a grim picture of party mismanagement that bears little resemblance to the far more upbeat tone he maintained ahead of the Nov. 2 elections. “The RNC is heading into the final 100 days of the campaign with the necessary resources to compete from Delaware to Hawaii,” Collins wrote in a memo dated July 20. “By the end of July, the RNC will have transferred over $2 million this year and have invested more than $20 million this cycle in state parties and party committees across the country.” But on Tuesday, Collins abruptly quit his job at the RNC and warned party chairman Michael Steele and RNC officials in a five-page letter that the committee has “allowed its major donor base to wither,” tapped out its lines of credit and left its “vaunted 72-hour” voter turnout program “largely unfunded.” With just under two weeks to go before Election Day, however, Collins offered an entirely different assessment with a memo titled: “31,161,123: An Unprecedented Grassroots Achievement."

NOTED: The RNC announced late Tuesday that two “political veterans,” Jon Seaton and John Peschong, will join the committee as senior political advisors. From the RNC’s release: “Jon Seaton … worked for Senator John McCain’s Presidential Campaign, filling a variety of roles including National Field Director, Iowa Caucus Director, and, ultimately, Regional Campaign Manager for Ohio and Pennsylvania… John Peschong has more than two decades of political experience. … John served in the White House during the Reagan Administration and later as the Executive Director for the California Republican Party.”

FUTURE OF THE RNC. Collins’ resignation comes as the battle for RNC chairman is heating up. Although Steele has not officially announced he is running for another term, he has already drawn one official challenger and other party insiders are contemplating getting into the race. Late Tuesday the Washington Post reported that three unnamed sources close to Collins said that he has also been weighing a run against Steele. “Several senior Republican operatives confirmed that Collins is interested in seeking the chairmanship himself although how close he is to deciding one way or the other wasn't immediately clear. And, Collins has sent mixed signals of late, telling some people he has weighed the race but decided against it while keeping the option open to others,” reports The Post’s Chris Cillizza.


ON TODAY’S “TOP LINE”: ABC’s Rick Klein and Jonathan Karl interview Congressman-elect Bobby Schilling, Republican of Illinois, who may be better known as the “Pizza Man.” In an interview with ABC’s John R. Parkinson before the election, Schilling says he began considering a run for the House in 2008. "I'm a guy that for the last 14 years I've fired up, from the ground up, my small pizza store, and, you know, worked my fingers to the bone, and, you know, had for the first three or four years really struggled to get by," Schilling said the interview. "We're just starting to get our head above water and the government wants to come in and raise taxes and, you know, I just figured now's the time to do something rather than just sit around and complain.” Also on “Top Line” today, the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody. Watch “Top Line” LIVE at 12:00 p.m. Eastern.



SARAH PALIN’S WORLD. Robert Draper has must-read in the Sunday’s New York Times magazine takes readers deep inside Palin’s inner-circle and reveals the former Alaska governor’s decision-making process about running for president two years from now. Is she thinking about 2012 “I am,” Palin told Draper in an interview. “I’m engaged in the internal deliberations candidly, and having that discussion with my family, because my family is the most important consideration here.” She continued: “I know that a hurdle I would have to cross, that some other potential candidates wouldn’t have to cross right out of the chute, is proving my record. That’s the most frustrating thing for me — the warped and perverted description of my record and what I’ve accomplished over the last two decades. It’s been much more perplexing to me than where the lamestream media has wanted to go about my personal life. And other candidates haven’t faced these criticisms the way I have.”

PARTY CRASHER. “Some of the Democratic Party’s biggest donors met Tuesday afternoon with influential party figures such as AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, organizer Joan Fitz-Gerald and former White House aide Van Jones to discuss the lessons and implications of the GOP’s landslide midterm election victory,” Politico’s Ken Vogel reports. “The conference itself featured mostly big picture analyses of the midterm elections and their predicted impact on the donors’ favored policy causes, rather than strategic planning for the 2012 elections, sources told POLITICO. And – despite the tens of millions of dollars in independent advertisements aired in 2010 by GOP allies attacking Democratic candidates – Democracy Alliance is not formally recommending its donors contribute to any outside groups that focus primarily on election advertising.”



The percentage of support that goes to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in a new Gallup poll of 2012 presidential contenders that shows: “Rank-and-file Republicans have no clear favorite for the party” nomination. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee both got 16 percent and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich pulled in 13 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul rounded out the top five, but he was in single digits with 6 percent. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour received four percent support. Full poll results:



@rickklein: Kucinich gunning for ranking D on oversight committee. promising "cooperation with Chairman Issa."

@kararowland: Chamber of Commerce CEO warned of a "regulatory tsunami" threatening businesses at board meeting this AM

@HotlineJosh: The top 10 members of Congress at risk from the redistricting process

@pwire: Nearly a third of House Democratic caucus in next Congress will be from two states, CA and NY…

@FixAaron: Anybody else have trouble keeping tracking of all the michael bloomberg trial balloons?



PRESIDENTIAL PLANNER. President Obama focuses on Afghanistan and Pakistan today in a huddle with top advisers in the Situation Room. According to ABC’s Sunlen Miller, attendees include Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and National Security Advisor Tom Donilon. In the afternoon the president will have lunch with Vice President Biden and a meeting with Secretary of State Clinton.  Afterward Mr. Obama will award the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in an East Room ceremony.

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