Pelosi Promises to ‘Govern From the Middle’

Posted November 17, 2008 at 9:05pm

Reinforcing the tone Democrats are hoping to set for the upcoming Congress, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday night vowed to incoming freshman Members that she will govern from the center and asked for their hand in that quest.

“The challenges before us are formidable. Some can be solved immediately; others will take more time,” Pelosi said. “To solve all of them, we must govern from the middle – reaching across the aisle to work in a bipartisan way and build consensus.”

Pelosi delivered the remarks to incoming lawmakers at the New Member Dinner, which for the first time in many years was a bipartisan event. Pelosi has been beating a drum of bipartisanship on the heels of the November elections, which enlarged the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate and gave the party the White House.

“We will work together with greatest civility,” Pelosi said. “As Thomas Jefferson said, ‘Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.’ And we will work together to forge solutions to the great challenges we face, especially to rebuild our economy to create good-paying jobs here at home.”

Democrats will have a powerful hand in the 111th Congress, but they recognize it will be difficult to pass any major legislative initiatives without GOP support. President-elect Barack Obama has made a similar appeal for comity, pledging to bring Republicans into his administration and to work across the aisle to usher in his agenda.