Top Blue Dog calls for Pelosi to quit
By JONATHAN ALLEN & JOHN BRESNAHAN | 11/4/10 2:43 PM EDT
An elder statesman of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition is calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to step down from party leadership after a historic election in which she presided over the loss of 60 seats and control of the House.
Utah Rep. Jim Matheson, a co-chairman of the Blue Dogs, told POLITICO on Thursday that Pelosi should not be a candidate for minority leader -a sign that other Blue Dogs are ready to pounce if Pelosi doesn't voluntarily cede her power.
"No," Matheson said flatly when asked if Pelosi should seek the job. "We just got whupped."
His comments come on the same day that fellow Blue Dog leader Heath Shuler of North Carolina told CQ-Roll Call that he would run against Pelosi if she runs for minority leader - echoing an earlier suggestion that he would have challenged her for speaker had Democrats held the House.
Shuler told the paper that he didn't think she would run for the job of leader.
Matheson made clear he believes it is some of Pelosi's "accomplishments" - and a lack of focus on jobs and the economy - that led to the electoral devastation of the Democratic Party on Tuesday night.
"When you're in the worst economic downturn since the Depression, the Top Three issues should have been jobs and the economy, jobs and the economy and jobs and the economy," Matheson said. "The agenda got off on other things like cap and trade in the House."
Perhaps if Matheson consulted someone who knows something about politics, he would learn that it was the Senate that failed to do anything significant about jobs on numerous different occassions these pst two years. And Barack Obama who was totally MIA in the national leadership on the issue.