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A vote of not much confidence in Nancy Pelosi

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House Democrats elected Nancy Pelosi to remain as their leader Wednesday despite massive party losses in this month's congressional elections. She defeated moderate Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina.

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Even Pelosi "friend" Pascrell spoke before the TV cameras about failings under her leadership, saying, "We put many of our members in jeopardy by voting on bills that were never going to be taken up in the United States Senate." DeFazio, in turn, said, "The greatest failing in this Congress was that the House was basically acting as a - it enabled the White House."

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After her long and contentious meeting, Pelosi emerged to face reporters. She fiddled with her necklace and licked her lips as Rep. John Larson (Conn.) introduced her as "our great leader."

"I wish all of America could have seen our caucus today," she said.

A reporter asked what she would say to voters who expected a change and now see the same Democratic leaders in place. "The message we received from the American people is they want a job," Pelosi replied.

And no American wants a job more than Pelosi wants hers as head of the House Democrats.

As the leadership team began to walk away, Larson felt the need to say one more thing in Pelosi's defense. "They know her will! Most important, they know her heart!" he blurted out, causing the recessional to freeze in mid-retreat. "And that was what was felt today: the heartfelt feeling of this caucus behind this great leader!"

Some of them just have trouble expressing their affection for the great leader.

danamilbank@washpost.com


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