The Note: Congressional Intrigue

Speculation on the reshuffling of chairs of Congressional leaders.

ByMICHAEL FALCONE and AMY WALTER
November 5, 2010, 10:06 AM

Nov. 5, 2010— -- After the Democrats' "shellacking" on Tuesday that upended their control of the U.S. House of Representatives, speculation has focused on the reshuffling of the deck chairs among Congressional leaders in both parties.

Within the Republican ranks, there are committee chairmanships up for grabs. While some of them seem to be done deals, others, like the race for House Republican Conference chair appear to be far from over.

That particular fight, between Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Tex., and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is something of a microcosm of the struggles the Republican Party faced during the primary season between establishment candidates (in this case, Hensarling) and their Tea Party-backed insurgents (Bachmann). Politico's Glenn Thrush has more on the jockeying between Hensarling and Bachmann.

But the spotlight is also on outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who Capitol Hill odds-makers expected not to seek a Democratic leadership position and perhaps leave Congress enitrely.

Not so fast, ABC's Jonathan Karl reports: "Some of Pelosi's closest allies are encouraging her to stay and to lead the Democratic effort to win back their majority.

Those encouraging her are arguing, in part, that she can unify the progressives in the caucus, and more importantly, that nobody in the House can raise money for the next campaign better than Pelosi.

Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC), a member of the conservative Democratic Blue Dog coalition, is urging Pelosi not to run and threatening to challenge her if she does. Another member of the Blue Dog coalition, Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT), told Politico that Pelosi should not stay on.

A more serious threat to Pelosi would come from Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), currently the number two Democrat in the House. But Hoyer has previously assured Pelosi -- publicly and privately -- that he will not run against her."

Read The Note's complete political analysis for the day HERE.

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