Monday, August 11, 2014

California a Winner – Pelosi Retires, McCarthy Majority Leader

The most powerful leaders of California’s congressional delegation just skipped a generation. As Kevin McCarthy became majority leader on August 1 at 49 years old, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (74) likely fought one of her last pre-August recess battles over immigration. In a near desperate, heated exchange with Republican Tom Marino of Pennsylvania, Pelosi broke decorum and charged across the floor of the House to confront Marino.

Contributing to her frustration is often repeated predictions that Democrats will lose seats on November 4, ending her 4-year quest to return to power. She is convinced that immigration reform is an important issue for the Democratic base in November and was searching for a way to make news.

McCarthy, in a lightening-like career, now leads the House Republicans and a small delegation of California Republicans, but on issues that are important to California beyond partisanship, he and Senator Dianne Feinstein are the most influential members.

This is the third time I’ve predicted Pelosi’s retirement. She keeps on running and she may see a 2016 Hillary Clinton’s presidential run as yet another chance to win back the speakership (Democrats winning the House is a longer shot than Clinton winning the presidency). But, assuming continued Republican control of the House, her influence will never be the same with a new Californian in the leadership.

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