Huffington touched on the sudden illness of Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), whose ability to serve may affect whether the Democrats will hold a majority in the Senate, as they do the House. She points to a previous example of a South Dakotan congressman, Republican Karl Mundt, whose seat was held while he was unable to perform his duties – and then she gives the example of the late Strom Thurmond, whom she says kept his office “long past being fully able” to undertake his duties.
The pundit opines that the 2006 midterm elections revolved around the Iraq war issue and that Democrats gained power due to “a clear mandate to bring the troops home.” If President George W. Bush defies such a mandate, maintaining or even increasing troop levels in Iraq, she believes that Congress will wield “the power of the purse” to force him to accept their agenda.
Huffington praises incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for backing controversial anti-war Sen. John Murtha (D-Penn.) for House majority leader, despite doubts that he’d get support from his peers. She says “only a hack takes on fights they know they will win,” and says Pelosi’s choice “bodes well” for the Democratic leadership next year.