Alcee Hastings Won't Be Intelligence Committee Chair?

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Nov 28, 2006 3:45 PM

Did Nancy Pelosi make a U-Turn on Stupid St. and head back in the right direction?

Fox News just reported that Rep. Alcee Hastings had just confirmed to the network that he would not be head of the House Intelligence Committee because Pelosi doesn't want him in that slot.

Hastings, whom Pelosi had been considering due to a dislike for Blue Dog Rep. Jane Harman, lost his federal judgeship in 1988 after being accused of conspiring in bribery.

Update: CQ reported Pelosi and Hastings meeting earlier today to put an end to his bid, but there's no word on who Pelosi will appoint.

Other options:

Among the others mentioned as possible intelligence committee heads are Reps. Silvestre Reyes of Texas, who is just behind Hastings in seniority on the intelligence panel; Norm Dicks of Washington, Anna Eshoo of California, Rush Holt of New Jersey and Sanford Bishop of Georgia.

Rep. Silvestre Reyes has been most talked-about.

Most Lefties in the blogosphere are virulently anti-Harman, but here are some thoughts from some left-leaners who are "softly" in her corner:

Harman's support for Bush's illegal domestic surveillance program may be a deal-breaker, but I'm not sure why her (mistaken) support for the Iraq War should necessarily disqualify her. Holt has been more consistent, but I tend to agree with Kevin Drum: "There... seems to be more than a whiff of retribution here against any Democrat who supported the war resolution, and that strikes me as pretty counterproductive. After all, nearly half the Democratic caucus supported the resolution, and we really don't want to declare every one of these folks persona non grata on all issues related to national security."

It sounds like Harman's likely a no-go. Kevin Drum has more thoughts on the Rush Holt possibility.

Via Jeralyn Merritt, some tidbits on Norm Dicks and Reyes:

One is Rep. Norm Dicks, a onetime strong Iraq-war backer who has since joined ranks with Murtha and now wants a phased troop withdrawal. The other is Rep. Silvestre Reyes, a quiet Texas lawmaker and former Border Patrol official who opposed the Iraq war from the outset. The aforementioned leadership aide notes that Reyes may now have the upper hand for "political" reasons: the Hispanic Caucus is angry because it has no members in the new House leadership or chairing major committees.

Update: Rule of thumb: Anyone who rails against his "haters" in official Congressional statements is not likely suited to head the House Intelligence Committee.