Heath Shuler, a North Carolina Blue Dog Democrat and former
Redskins quarterback, is working overtime to ensure re-election to
the U.S. House in 2012. In a move
that even he admits won’t go anywhere, Shuler has thrown his
hat in the ring to challenge Nancy Pelosi for the post of minority
leader in the new Congress.
Like so many other Democrats, Shuler’s No. 1 campaign strategy
during the election was simple: “I’m not Nancy
Pelosi.” A few days before the election, Shuler
telegraphed that he was willing to run for speaker if a “viable
alternative” to Pelosi didn’t emerge. It was a brilliant strategy,
politically, considering the tough challenge he faced from
Republican foe Jeff Miller, not to mention the anti-Pelosi
sensibilities of his constituents.
Given the fact that he has no chance, though, it’s mere
grandstanding — but makes a nice set-up for his re-election bid in
2012, when Shuler will be one of a decimated core of incumbent
moderate-leaning Democrats facing voters.
About the Author
David N. Bass is a journalist who writes from the Old North State. Follow him on Twitter.
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