There has been a strong opposition in the media about Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) run for the House Minority Leader.
“If Obama wants a House leader who will help draw bright lines of distinction with the new House majority, Pelosi could be exactly the right person to lead House Democrats. If he wants more room to maneuver, to make deals with Republicans as well as confront them, she might not be at all what he wants,” writes Dan Balz for the Washington Post. Pelosi is not a bad politician by any means, but she’s not a good leader. Her leadership style draws upon a closed-minded frame of mind.
“I believe the president was absolutely sincere in looking for a bipartisan outcome,” Charlie Dent (R-PA) said in an interview with Newsweek. “But the White House lost control of the process when the bill was outsourced to Pelosi.”
President Obama gave the healthcare bill to Pelosi; it was under her care. She did what she promised — she got it passed. The Republicans were ousted from the discussion; she did not seek bipartisan support. Democrats paid the price on Nov. 2, 2010, when Republicans won the House.
Yes, Pelosi was instrumental in giving Obama healthcare reform. However, to work with the Republicans in the House for the next two years Obama, and the Democrats, the Presidnet cannot let Pelosi loose once again in the House. She did her job, but now she needs to step down and let someone more open to bipartisan collaboration lead the House minority.
John B. Larson (D-CT), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, has had a successful record of working with the Republicans. He would be an ideal candidate for the House Minority Leader as he has an open mind to lead Democrats to collaborate, instead of fight, with the Republican majority.
He was one of the cosponsors of the American Job Creation and Investment Act, which is a bipartisan bill that allows businesses to use Alternative Minimum Tax credits now to create jobs.
“A jobless recovery is not acceptable, and we will do everything we can to create good-paying American jobs and put people back to work. I am glad President Obama agrees with proposals set forth by House Democrats to use returning TARP funds to pay for job creation legislation. It is time for Wall Street to help rebuild Main Street. We will take steps in the coming weeks to make sure that happens,” said Larson as a member of Congressional Task Force on Job Creation.
Energy and environment policies should not be dismissed. They affect not only their respective fields, but the economy, health, and job creation as well. Investing in businesses that create clean energy not only helps reduce pollution, but also creates jobs. Meanwhile, a cleaner environment would improve overall health. Larson has been a big supporter of clean energy policies: “I have focused on ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower the price of energy, and invest in renewable energy sources.”
Obama needs someone who is focused on job creation while working together with the Republicans to achieve it. The “Great Compromise” of the 21st century, Democrats and Republicans working together on the healthcare reform and economy, will define the next decade to come.
Larson should run for the House Minority Leader as his record shows that he is an ideal candidate for the position who is a bridge between President Obama and the House Majority. Had Pelosi learned from Larson how to be a good Democratic leader, maybe she wouldn’t be viewed so negatively by the public. His current leadership position would make an excellent entryway to the House Minority Leader.
The new House Minority Leader will define the elections of 2012. The Democrats should make no mistake at selecting the new leader if they want to be a viable option during those elections. Working together will alleviate the tension and reduce the stress that has descended upon the Capitol Hill in the last two years.