Dan Boren among 19 Demo speaker-vote dissenters

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Oklahoma 2nd District Congressman Dan Boren proved me wrong.

Rather than vote a fourth time for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House (he voted for her in 2005, 2007, and 2009), the Democrat joined 10 colleagues in voting for North Carolina Democrat Heath Shuler for speaker.

Another eight Democrats also voted for someone other than Pelosi: Two of her fellow California Democrats, Jim Costa and Dennis Cardoza, voted for each other, John Lewis (D-GA) received two votes. Minority whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Jim Cooper (D-TN) each received one vote. One Democrat (Bishop of GA) voted present, and one (DeFazio of OR) wasn't even there.

All but one Republican voted for the new speaker, John Boehner. The lone holdout: John Boehner. (Often, speaker candidates abstain from the vote, although Pelosi never has.)

1997 appears to be the last time there were a significant number of dissenters -- 9 center-left Republicans opted not to vote for a second term for Newt Gingrich.

It will be interesting to see if Boren pays any price within his caucus. While the vote for speaker is normally what the British would call a three-line whip -- dissent risks expulsion from the party caucus -- Pelosi had no chance to win. Allowing Boren to vote against Pelosi takes a way a talking point from his 2012 opponent, improving Boren's odds of re-election, so that he can vote for a far-left speaker in 2013, when his vote may matter.

When my daughter and I went door-to-door in Muskogee for Charles Thompson, Boren's 2010 opponent, Boren's previous votes for Pelosi were a real door-opener; it gave us an instant rapport with voters. Had Thompson raised enough money early enough to get that message to most 2nd District voters, Boren's political career might be over.

(Thanks to Steven Roemerman for his tweet today wondering if "this @Batesline post had anything to do with [Boren's] vote today.")

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Bob said:

Congressman Daniel Boren really has little choice if he desires re-election than to appear to veer to the Right.

He houses in an increasingly Red State, and is one of fewer than one-half of the remaining Blue Dog Democrats that were decimated in the 2010 House Election.

Hence, his more independent, conservative posture may be authentic, or it may be simply a pose.

The voters will decide....

Douglas said:

I will bet the only reason he voted against Pelosi is because he is trying to look more moderate in time for a Senate run in 2014.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 5, 2011 11:59 PM.

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