Moulton Pushing Resistance to Pelosi
By Sean Philip Cotter
BOSTON -- U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton says he has a “silent majority” of Democrats on his side in trying to prevent House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi from becoming speaker of the house -- but political observers say it’s unclear who else would lead the party, or even if there are enough votes for change.
Moulton, D-Salem, who for years has been agitating to put different Democrats in charge, had tweeted, “Leadership asking new members to make a choice: break campaign promise on your 1st vote, or stand up to a status quo that will punish you. We’ve been fielding lots of calls from incumbents. We’re the voices of a silent majority who want new leadership & to protect new members.”
Pelosi came out swinging the day after the election, saying she is the best choice for the speakership, which she held from 2007 to 2011. Despite grumblings from Moulton and others unhappy with the lack of fresh faces in leadership positions, no one has stepped up to announce a challenge to Pelosi.
Moulton’s spokesman denied the congressman is planning to run for speaker himself, and political observers are questioning whether any insurgency stands a chance.
“She’s not going to be deposed without an alternative,” said Democratic strategist Scott Ferson, who noted the party’s major success last week in retaking the House under Pelosi’s leadership. “It’s hard to counter-argue the fact that she won and to deny her the speaker (position) after that.”
Moulton is one of about 10 incumbent Democrat reps who continue to stake-out hard anti-Pelosi positions after being re-elected last week. They’ll soon be joined by about that many newly elected, incoming representatives who opposed Pelosi on the campaign trail. His district includes the Greater Lowell Communities of Bedford, Billerica, Burlington, Tewksbury, and Wilmington.
That’s far less than a majority of the about 237-member incoming caucus opposing the longtime congresswoman from San Francisco, but it also doesn’t include people like Massachusetts’ own Lori Trahan and Ayanna Pressley -- two incoming congresswomen who told the Herald last week that they would have to wait and see who they would support for speaker.
“It’s possible that both things are true: It’s very likely that she’ll be speaker -- and that he is correct that especially among newer members there’s a substantial hunger for a new leadership,” longtime Democratic operative Matt Bennett said, noting that Pelosi herself has recently talked about stepping aside in the coming years. “We will have new leadership sometime between very soon and relatively soon.”
A Moulton spokesman said the congressman wasn’t available to comment, but re-iterated that the Moulton wants change atop his party’s establishment.
Pelosi’s staff didn’t respond to requests for comment.
3rd Congressional District Rep.-elect Lori Trahan is headed to Washington this week for orientation. Late Monday, she told The Sun she is currently undecided who she will support for speaker.
“I will evaluate my options as time goes on,” said Trahan. “Right now those options are entirely unclear.”