Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pelosi makes nice with Hastert

In a gesture to the opposition, Nancy Pelosi has apparently offered outgoing Speaker Dennis Hastert some primo digs in the Capitol:

A well-placed GOP source says that Pelosi, in a random act of bipartisan kindness that will surely irk Members on both sides of the aisle, has decided to reward Hastert with the plush and coveted Capitol office suite now held by retiring Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.).

Awww, isn't that nice?

The story's a little more complicated than that, of course.

For one thing, the reason Hastert is looking for a new office is because Pelosi is taking over his suite -- a suite that has been in Republican hands for 50 years thanks to previous acts of kindness by successive Democratic Speakers. But those decisions, too, were unusual -- and had a lot to do with Democrats liking their existing digs.

Things changed when a new visitor's center -- a project overseen by the GOP-majority Capitol Preservation Commission -- chopped up the Democratic leadership complex, forcing them to scatter all over the building.

By taking over the suite that has come to be known as "the speaker's office", Pelosi will be able to consolidate her leadership team in one place.

That's the way the game is usually played, and there are no grounds to criticize Pelosi for playing it. Pelosi's offer to Hastert, on the other hand, is unusual, unexpected and unnecessary. Which makes it simply nice. And refreshing.

(h/t: Centrisity)

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