House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi has set off a power struggle among fellow Democrats and drawn unusually dire warnings from editorial writers coast-to-coast as suspense builds over who will chair the House intelligence committee.Thanks to SusanUnPC for the tip.
Pelosi, who has already named most of the committee heads along traditional seniority lines, has balked at picking fellow California Rep. Jane Harman, who is now the top Democrat on the highly sensitive intel panel.
Former Rep. Timothy Roemer, co-chairman of the Sept. 11 commission, said his advice to Pelosi would be "to be creative" in her choice.
Roemer, who was a "Blue Dog" Democrat when he served in the House, said the decision would be one of the most important for the new speaker. "It's like the president picking a cabinet," he said, adding that the intelligence committee post is a key indicator for the party's foreign policy positions.
"This is no short order cook" job, he added. "She needs to get somebody who is an articulate spokesperson, open to new ideas, (who) can be effective in the media, and also work in a bipartisan manner."
Roemer suggested that Pelosi could go outside the committee to select Rep. Norm Dicks of Washington, who previously served on the intelligence panel; Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the Illinois lawmaker who led the party's successful election campaign in the House and who previously worked in the Clinton White House; or Rep. Adam Schiff of California, currently serving on the House International Relations Committee.
Asked about the reaction if Pelosi should pick Hastings as chairman, Roemer said, "There will be a beehive full of Republicans with their talking points already written, ready to go after whoever she picks. She has to make sure she doesn't give them a lot of ammunition on this particular appointment."
Sunday, November 26, 2006
"Controversy simmers over Pelosi's choice for key intelligence job"