PELOSI OUT: Madam Speaker Hangs Up the Gavel

It’s the dawning of a new era for the Democratic Party, and it appears as if the old guard is getting ready to head toward the exits.

For years, centrist Democrats have been doing battle with their progressive counterparts, hoping to keep the party from falling into a liberal abyss to which they will be unable to draw moderate voters.

Now, with Congress heading for a split term, it seems as though some of these Democratic stalwarts are ready to hang it up and let the progressive posse step into the spotlight.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she will not seek a leadership position in the new Congress, a pivotal realignment making way for a new generation of leaders after Democrats lost control of the House to Republicans in the midterm elections.

Pelosi announced in a spirited speech on the House floor that she will step aside after leading Democrats for nearly 20 years and in the aftermath of the brutal attack on her husband, Paul, last month in their San Francisco home.

The California Democrat, who rose to become the nation’s first woman to wield the speaker’s gavel, said she would remain in Congress as the representative from San Francisco, a position she has held for 35 years, when the new Congress convenes in January.

Pelosi then spelled it out.

“Now we must move boldly into the future,” Pelosi said.

“I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress,” Pelosi said. “For me, the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect.”

The move will certainly reinvigorate the Democratic jockeying within Congress, setting up a whole new era of intra-party fighting among the liberals.