Future Leadership in the US House of Representatives

Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced that she would definitely run for Speaker of the House of Representatives if Democrats win that chamber in the November 2018 election. Many Democratic leaders had hoped that Leader Pelosi would accept the accolades of a grateful nation and then, after the 2018 election, step aside for the next generation of leadership. Many Democratic candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives are unhappy with her decision and have publicly stated they will not vote for her as speaker of the House of Representatives.
Congresswoman Pelosi has certainly been demonized by her adversaries. She makes a good point that a woman should be sitting at the decision makers’ table for our country. She is an outstanding fundraiser. But the clamor from Democratic candidates who are promising their constituents that they will not vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives is so loud that pundits have begun to predict she will not be the next Speaker.
Since Leader Pelosi announced several days ago that she would definitely run for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, I’ve had the opportunity to discuss the situation with many constituents in the region. The consensus is strong that Congresswoman Pelosi is NOT the leader we will need in 2019. Despite her many accomplishments and distinguished career, she has unfortunately also become a polarizing figure and a magnet for division and discord. I respect the fact that she has been the target of many unjustified attacks. But I do believe we need a different person as Speaker, one who will have the skill set needed to bring our country back together again. We need a Speaker of the House of Representatives who will find solutions, who will make progress toward solving problems that folks from all sides can agree about, who will lead us forward to a bright future.
Perhaps Congresswoman Pelosi’s next great contribution can come by passing the torch and paying her wisdom forward through mentoring the upcoming generation of leaders. This could be a tremendous service, particularly for women now in Congress and for the record number of women running for Congress. I wholeheartedly agree that we need more women participating in the major decisions made in our country.
I anticipate that the Democrats will win the U.S. House of Representatives and that in January 2019 the new Congress will have 75 or more new Congressmen and Congresswomen. This bolus of new energy will be a major force for constructive change, including leadership change.
I look forward to the challenge of governing in the next Congress. I pledge to East Tennesseans that I will vote for new leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives.