The Buck Starts Here

Depending on how leadership elections go in the minority party in the House and in the Senate, it looks as if all the party leaders will be the same as they were in the last Congress.

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Unless House Democrats pass on Pelosi as Leader or Senate Republicans pass on Mitch McConnell everyone is going to have to figure out how to work together.

Pelosi could have easily stepped aside if that were her desire. Her accomplishments to date are historic.

She made history as the first woman to hold the Speaker’s gavel in the House of Representatives. After 12 years in the minority, Pelosi put together the team that finally succeeded in returning Democrats to power in the House.

She was incredibly effective in opposing the Bush White House, both in the minority and as Speaker, and was a catalyst for Democratic success in 2008.

She led the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first law President Obama signed.

Of her many accomplishments, passing health care out of the House of Representatives is perhaps the greatest of all. Despite the many legendary Speakers that preceded her, it was Pelosi that succeeded where others had fallen short. She was the first Speaker to see comprehensive health care reform become the law of the land.

But Pelosi holds another distinction that may motivate her to stay.

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No politician has been defined, without the ability to answer, the stream of outside money than Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

She was vilified across the country in Super PAC ads in 2010. Democrats did not have the machinery or the means to respond to the vicious air attack on her.

It was, perhaps, foreshadowing the GOP War on Women in 2012 that they waged a War on a Woman in 2010 painting a false and unfair caricature of our first female Speaker.

So while Pelosi could have easily stepped aside, if she wished to, she stays to play an important role. She will remain the one woman in a leadership position in the room when important issues effecting women are negotiated over the next year and a strong reminder that Democrats stand with women and promote them to positions of power.

It will be hard for Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor or Minority Leader McConnell to put aside that fact.

About Bill Buck

Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.

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