On the opening day of the new Congress, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke longer than the newly minted Speaker of the House John Boehner. What should one make of that?
On Wednesday’s “Special Report with Bret Baier,” Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume had his own idea of what Pelosi was thinking. During his commentary segment, Hume took a dig at Pelosi by hypothesizing she thought the focus was on her during the ceremonial exchange of power and not Boehner.
“It was perhaps fitting that it took Nancy Pelosi longer to say her piece in surrendering the House gavel to John Boehner than it took Boehner to say his,” Hume said. “It was as if the nation’s first woman speaker could not quite believe today was not about her. She used her remarks to list the wonders of her party’s record, never mind that that record had led to one of the most decisive electoral repudiations in modern history.“
On the other hand, Hume noted Boehner took a different tack, but warned that some of his rhetoric might be naïve.
“At the end though, she was gracious about her successor,” he continued. “Boehner for his part, was all about humility. ‘It’s just me,’ as he acknowledged the cheers, his new gavel in hand. He spoke of difficult times and the need for sacrifice and promised openness in the proceedings of the House itself. Surely though he knows such openness cannot always prevail unless the House becomes like the Senate – a place where bills go to die.”
He cautioned Republicans against making the mistakes of the past that mired their party in minority status for decades until then-President Ronald Reagan offered a new vision – the party should be about prosperity, not austerity.
“And there’s something else he should know as well,” he continued. “Until the 1980s, the Republican Party was known as the party of austerity – ever eager to cut spending and even raise taxes to help balance the nation’s books. Voters rewarded that by keeping Republicans in the minority of both houses of Congress for decades. Only under the leadership of Ronald Reagan and others, such as the late Jack Kemp, did Republicans become the party in economic growth, a party more interested in growing the pie than shrinking the servings. Voters have liked that better and while austerity is necessary, it is prosperity that voters want most.”