The San Francisco Democrat announced today she’s staying on as House Democratic Leader. Ed Morrissey thinks this “sounds like a pretty bad idea for a couple of reasons“:
First, the most likely successors to Pelosi will come from current leadership within the caucus, which isn’t exactly a youth movement. Steny Hoyer has the inside track for Pelosi’s job, and he’s 73 years old, one year older than Pelosi herself. Jim Clyburn might make a bid for the leader position and become the first African-American to chair a House party caucus, but he’s 72 years old. John Larson, the caucus chairman, is a relative youngster at 64 years old. None of these leaders will gain much more than pension benefits by waiting another two years.
Second, another two years gives Republicans another two years to make Pelosi the face of the party. Every Democrat in a purple-to-red district who votes for another Pelosi term will end up having to defend that vote in the next midterm election. Without Obama at the top of the ticket, the turnout in 2014 is going to look somewhat different than 2012, and some of those new freshmen coming into the House on a platform of change might not be able to explain why their first vote was to support a sclerotic and failed status quo within their own party.
Couldn’t have said it better myself. Contrast the ages of the House Democratic leadership with that of the House Republicans. Speaker John Boehner at 62, is the oldest, two years younger than the youngest Democrat in their leadership. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is 49. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy is just 47.
UPDATE: Writing before Mrs. Pelosi decided to stay on for another term, Townhall’s Guy Benson offered that he’d “be amazed if she stays on as minority leader. She’s unpopular and polarizing, and she’s presided over two consecutive unsuccessful cycles for House Democrats.” Well, the unpopular and polarizing leader is staying on.