Nancy Pelosi has thrown her support to ally John Murtha in the race for House majority leader with a letter sent to House Democrats, citing his campaign against the Iraq war as a major factor in the Democrats’ recent midterm victory.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), in line to become Speaker in January, is throwing her support to Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) in the race for Majority Leader, a move that will be an early test of her influence and will weigh heavily on Murtha’s contest with Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) for the post.
Pelosi, in a letter distributed Sunday to newly elected House Democrats, wrote that Murtha’s outspoken opposition to the war in Iraq helped change the electoral campaign for the House this fall. Murtha began calling for a U.S. pullout from Iraq a year ago, and his open opposition to the war made him a focus of intense criticism from Republicans and the White House.
Pelosi, though, credited Murtha, one of her closest allies in the House, with changing the national debate on the issue and helping provide Democratic challengers and incumbents with a winning argument for the mid-term elections.