LEADING THE NEWS– The Hill
Democratic leaders are tamping down on expectations for rapid change and trying to signal they will place a calm hand on the nation’s tiller.
“The country must be governed from the middle,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday. Repeating themes from election night, she said she plans to emphasize “civility” and “fiscal responsibility.”
Her comments emphasized that after an election consistently referred to as “historic,” Democrats face the daunting task of dealing with the plunging economy and two wars.
Yet, they face massive expectations for change and deep-seated fears of overreaching. But senior aides say they’ve learned from the mistakes of the past. Nearly every member of the current Democratic leadership in the House served through the 1992 election, when Bill Clinton was elected president. Two years later, the GOP gained control of Congress.
More recently, they’ve watched Republicans go from complete dominance to minority status in the space of two elections.
“The difference is we have the benefit of experience in seeing what happens when you gain control,” said a senior Democratic aide. “I do not envision a scenario where we’d go off on an ideological mission in an undisciplined way.”
There are similar sentiments in the Senate.