The New York Times editorialized on Monday against outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) bid to lead Democrats two more years as House minority leader.
The Times, generally considered to have one of the more consistently liberal editorial pages on a national stage, said House Democrats would be better served by electing a new leader.
"That job is not a good match for her abilities in maneuvering legislation and trading votes, since Democrats will no longer be passing bills in the House," The Times wrote. "What they need is what Ms. Pelosi has been unable to provide: a clear and convincing voice to help Americans understand that Democratic policies are not bankrupting the country, advancing socialism or destroying freedom."
Congressional liberals and progressive bloggers have generally rallied behind Pelosi as she works to secure the votes to lead Democrats in the minority. Her move breaks somewhat with recent precedent, when Republican Speakers left their jobs — and Congress — after leading their party to major election losses.
Republicans believe Pelosi, who was already a nationally polarizing figure before the election, has only emerged from the elections with a diminished stature. The GOP has generally welcomed her bid to stay as Democratic leader, sensing they might be able to use her against some Democrats again in 2012.
The Times said Democrats needed to focus on electing a new leader who could effectively drive home the party message during the next two years. Pelosi's expertise, The Times wrote, lies instead in legislative maneuvering.
"With President Obama proving to be a surprisingly diffident salesman of his own work, Congressional Democrats need a new champion to stand against a tightly disciplined Republican insurgency," the paper wrote.