Rahm Emanuel, the hard-charging recent head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, isn’t usually a profile in contrition. But yesterday Emanuel admitted it was a mistake for him to dismiss Jack Murtha’s brave stand against the Iraq war last November.
“I was wrong, no doubt about it,” Emanuel told the New York Times.
Murtha’s dramatic break with the Bush Administration’s Iraq policy forced Democrats to take a position on the war–and ultimately embrace the issue during their campaigns in order to win.
Now Murtha is running for House Majority Leader against pro-war centrist Steny Hoyer. Because Murtha is to the right of Hoyer on issues like guns and abortion (last year he earned a 0 percent rating from NARAL and an A from the NRA), he is counting on the war to give him the support of liberal Democrats.
“Jack Murtha’s leadership sparked last night’s victory and has given Democrats control of Congress for the first time in a dozen years,” Arianna Huffington blogged on Wednesday. “Now they have to complete the end-the-Iraq-debacle mission the voters have given them. And Murtha’s the leader who can take them the rest of the way.”
Will House Democrats overlook Murtha’s conservative tendencies and vote based primarily on the war? The leadership elections are scheduled for Thursday, November 16. I’ll be watching, and writing, more. In the meantime, tell us who you’d support in the comments section.