NANCY IN DISTRESS
House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi was talking a tough game about what would happen to Republicans and the Bush Administration if Democrats take back the House in November. She promised major investigations of the President and members of his administration. She promised more money in homeland security spending, and a roll back of President Bush’s prescription drug plan.
Why the tough talk? The results in Ohio, where Democrat pollsters brought back comparatively bad news. Despite record spending for primaries, Democrats barely improved on primary numbers they had in the state back in 2002 for mid-term elections. Nationally, while approval numbers for Republicans edge down into the “teens,” Republican turnout has been surprisingly good, and it now appears that several seats targeted by Democrats in Ohio, California, Texas and Florida will not be in their column in November.
“Pelosi’s been talking a good game, but her party’s numbers aren’t holding up,” says a Democratic leadership aide who is working behind the scenes to remove Pelosi after the mid-term elections.
In fact, a number of people are working behind the scenes to remove Pelosi. According to congressional sources, her deputy, Democratic whip Rep. Steny Hoyer, and his staff have been making it clear to a number of different business interest groups that they do not support Pelosi’s virulently anti-business positions and that they are more than willing to help.
“What comes across is that Hoyer wants Pelosi’s job. He knows it will take money to do it and he’s reaching out to groups that normally don’t have followings in Democratic circles, such as telecom, small businesses and various chamber of commerce groups,” says a lobbyist for a manufacturers coalition. “Hoyer’s fundraisers are making it clear that his leadership PAC is becoming a good venue to kill two birds with one stone: get our issues heard and work against Pelosi.”
WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN
Word is that Josh Bolten isn’t through with changes at the senior level of the White House and President Bush’s Cabinet. While the resignation of CIA chief Porter Goss was a surprise, Bolten and others were aware that it would come sooner rather than later after witnessing turf battles between Goss and National Intelligence chief John Negroponte over that past couple of months.
According to White House sources, Treasury Secretary John Snow remains in limbo and is growing increasingly frustrated by his tenuous position. It is believed that he will stay on, though, through May, perhaps into June. After that, all bets are off.
Another Cabinet member considering jumping back to the private sector: Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao. There is also talk that Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez may take on a new, higher profile role in the administration, though that role has not been clearly defined.
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