October 5, 2002
A PE-LOSING STRATEGY:Pelosi breaks with Gephardt on OKing war: Democrats divided on deal with Bush to authorize force (Edward Epstein, October 4, 2002, San Francisco Chronicle)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House's second-ranking Democrat, said Thursday she would oppose a resolution authorizing war with Iraq that President Bush negotiated with her leader, Rep. Dick Gephardt, putting House Democrats in the middle of an uncomfortable leadership split.
The San Francisco Democrat, who for weeks has been saying that Bush hasn't made the case for quick military action against Saddam Hussein's regime, admitted that the 208 House Democrats would be badly divided when the House votes next week on the war-authorization resolution.
"There's a split in the caucus," she said.
It's been widely speculated that if the Democrats fail to retake the House this time Dick Gephardt will give up his dream of becoming Speaker and run for president instead. You have to think that with the House Democrats this divided he may be forced to resign his leadership position early next year if he does start looking seriously at running for higher office. That would apparently leave Ms Pelosi as one of the most important Democrat voices in American politics and it's awfully hard to see how that's a good thing for Democrats. Posted by Orrin Judd at October 5, 2002 10:30 AM