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Slade Gorton
Political leader

Slade Gorton

A former U.S. Senator and Washington State Attorney General, Slade Gorton served on the 9/11 Commission.

There is no dilemma

Question: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week confronted a dilemma faced by many leaders: whether to step aside when things go wrong. What should be the criteria guiding such a decision? Did Pelosi make the right choice? Should she have offered to resign but let her caucus make the decision? What about Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid?

There is no dilemma. Thoughtful leaders should and do resign after losses far more modest than Nancy Pelosi's of last week. But Republicans, of course, are delighted at her candidacy, delighted at the prospect of her symbolizing Congressional Democrats for two more years. And House Democrats are in disarray, most of them privately wanting to see her back but afraid to say. At least for the moment.

Harry Reid is another matter. He won a hard-fought race himself, and his party lost ground but not the majority. He should and will stay on as majority leader, with his own party content and Republicans pleased, correctly believing that he is a far less attractive face for Democrats in the Senate than either of his aspiring successors.

By Slade Gorton

 |  November 8, 2010; 5:56 PM ET
Category:  Congressional leadership , Failures , Government leadership , Leadership personalities , Leadership weaknesses , Political leadership , Politics , Succession , Women in Leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Mr. Gorton's comment is interesting, seeing that he is a very partisan Republican. Of course he wants Speaker Pelosi to resign--she has been an exceptionally effective Speaker. That's why the Republicans have mounted a nation-wide campaign to demonize her. She is far smarter than the new Republican leadership, and will run rings around them.

Posted by: lowercaselarry | November 11, 2010 6:31 PM
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