Valerie Jarrett Writes Op-Ed Supporting Pelosi for Speaker

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

For all the talk of the new blood in the Democratic Party after it retook control of the House of Representatives last week, some old familiar faces are making the rounds.


Even the less familiar ones are still pretty familiar:

Hoyer has been the Democrats’ longtime number-two guy in the House, so it’s not unusual that he would be in line to take this position. It also preemptively removes his name from the conversation about who the next speaker of the House will be.

Hoyer has been playing second fiddle to Nancy Pelosi for years, and many think she will resume her role as speaker despite some protestations from within Democratic ranks about wanting a fresh face in the position.

On Tuesday Valerie Jarrett — the real brains and power behind the throne during the Obama years — wrote an op-ed for CNN strongly supporting Pelosi’s bid.

The stakes couldn’t be higher. And House Democrats cannot afford to put forward anyone less than their smartest, savviest, most tenacious and strategic member — someone with a track record of successful leadership. That person is Nancy Pelosi.

Of course, Jarrett and her former boss owe Pelosi one and she knows it. Pelosi did more to get Obamacare passed than any other Democrat.

After the surprise election of Republican Scott Brown in 2010 to fill the seat vacated by the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, the Democrats were stripped of the 60th vote needed to avoid a possible GOP filibuster on the ACA. Some recommended Democrats retreat and settle for a children’s health care bill.

But Pelosi as speaker never lost her nerve. “You go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, you go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole vault in,” she said.”If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people.”
Thanks to her sheer force of will and determination, along with her follow members of Congress who put the health of the American people first, the ACA was signed in March 2010.
One thing that most of Pelosi’s detractors don’t talk about but which I have freely admitted for years was that she was a very powerful and effective speaker. She got people to willingly march to the ends of their careers to get the ACA passed. She’s formidable in the role. There’s a reason she’s remained atop Democratic leadership despite the shellacking they took in the two previous midterm elections.
The Democrats still love all things Obama and Jarrett’s ringing endorsement may be enough to quell the “fresh face” voices.
The Republicans would be far better off with someone who has to learn and grow into the speaker’s role. If Pelosi retakes it, she’ll be fighting and a pain from day one.


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