So what happened? Why? I admit that I don't understand the true inside politics of the Democratic party. Who is well liked and why? Who has been supportive of Democratic policies and who hasn't?
The vote count is in: Steny Hoyer defeated Jack Murtha 149 to 86 for the majority leader post in the House.
There's no way to spin this: this was a big loss for incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The vote wasn't close. Her ally was rejected. This reflects poorly on her. And it will be remembered by her political opponents--particularly those who want to undermine Pelosi's efforts to enact lobbying and campaign reform--that in this contest she endorsed a fellow who has long been accused of slippery ethics.
Moreover, Murtha, the candidate with the most ardent antiwar credentials, lost--and did so decisively. How will this be interpreted (or exploited) by pundits and politicos who oppose the Pelosi/Murtha call for the withdrawal of troops? Murtha champions did try to turn the majority leader race into a debate on the Iraq war. Can the vote be read as an indicator that many House Democrats don't support Pelosi all the way on her opposition to the war? more
David Corn is one of the brightest reporters that I have read. I like his summary. Only time will tell if he was correct.