Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi have been frenemies for a decade, since he lost a brutal fight for a leadership to Pelosi in 2001. Since then Hoyer's stayed loyal to Pelsoi, keeping his promise not to run against her, even when many conservative Democrats urged her not to run for House Minority Leader after losing her speakership when Democrats lost their majority. But now Hoyer is getting pretty close with President Obama, The Hill's Mike Lillis and Bob Cusack report.
Over the last month, several reports have indicated that Pelosi's power is diminished--she's become "The Incredible Shrinking Woman," as Politico's Jonathan Allen put it. Pelosi was left out of budget negotiations between House Republicans and the White House on purpose. Allen reports that "none of the power brokers wanted her in the room. They feared that her presence and her defense of liberal values would have made it impossible for Obama to cut a deal with [House Speaker John] Boehner."
Pelosi hasn't exactly become a non-entity on the Hill, however. She worked with Hoyer to unite Democrats in voting in a way that nearly tricked conservative Republicans into actually passing their budget bill. And the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza credits Pelosi with keeping Democrats together to vote against Rep. Paul Ryan's 2012 budget that would dramatically change Medicaid and Medicare--"ensuring that when election season rolls around Republicans will own their budget vote fully." And despite The Hill's report that "Obama's centrist shift is now melding with Hoyer's legislative leanings," Thursday night, speaking before members of the Democratic National Committee, Obama indicated he expected Pelosi to be speaker again in the near future.